I know he's 20. I know he's a rookie. I know he'd be the youngest Masters winner ever. And yes, I know he's spending a whole lot of time out there talking to himself.
He's still trending the right way. He's been the most consistent player in the field (71-70-70), and everyone knows he has the talent to win multiple majors someday. After the third round, I talked to his brother Steven, a 6-foot-6 freshman on the Brown University basketball team, and he said this Masters is playing out just the way their one-on-one putting and chipping contests on the family's front-yard green did back in the day -- with Jordan imagining himself winning the green jacket.
I think Spieth will do this, in part because he's not at all afraid to do this. Spieth replaces Tiger Woods as the youngest Masters winner ever and becomes the next big American star in this sport.
-- Ian O'Connor
Fifty-year-old, ponytailed Miguel Angel Jimenez wins the Masters, and Augusta is never the same. By the time Jimenez reaches the press room, he is bathed in more red wine than a Pamplona runner. He shouts, "What? Is the Masters only for the young people? Make for the celebrating!"
He is then carried to the traditional Masters dinner on the shoulders of six bikini models, all smoking Cubans and humming "Malaguena." He and every Spaniard in Georgia take over the local Cracker Barrel and all wind up in the jail they nearly took Martha Burk to.
In the morning, he retires from golf to start his own nudist theme park in Tampa, Fla. ... No, actually Matt Kuchar wins by 2.
-- Rick Reilly
Much like my NCAA bracket with Louisville, my pre-Masters pick (Phil Mickelson) didn't reach the final day. He didn't even reach the weekend. But my pre-Masters 1-A choice was Matt Kuchar, so I'll stick with him on Sunday.
He has generally done well at Augusta National and is flying a little below the Sunday Masters radar. Or like the wise Paul Azinger says: It's one thing to go to sleep with the lead and another to wake up with it. In other words, I don't think Kuchar is going to stress out Saturday night or Sunday.
Bubba Watson was this close to totally losing control of his third round Saturday. But he regrouped, sort of, with a couple of clutch par-saving putts down the stretch. He leaked oil Saturday but remains in the lead.
I can't see him going 0-for-back nine par-5s Sunday. And we know how he can respond when it really matters. Hello, wedge shot in 2012. I think he's right: His one bad round is now out of the way.
Jordan Spieth is a Masters work in progress, but you have to like the way he's trending. Including practice rounds, he's played a total of 10 times at Augusta National, and you can see his understanding of the nuances of the place grows each time he makes a loop. He's done a good job of suppressing his sometimes fiery demeanor.
He has an edge, but in a good way this week. I also think he's learned from his past weekend struggles when in contention. It isn't an understatement to say that Spieth has dreamed of this day: being in contention on Sunday of the Masters.
-- Gene Wojciechowski
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