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Jordan Spieth eyes tight fight to finish

USA's Jordan Spieth, who bogeyed twice to card a 73 for a three under par finish, and is only one shot ahead of compatriot Kaufman, admits he must shoot his best score to retain title

Augusta (United States): Defending champion Jordan Spieth admitted he would struggle to forget how his poor finish had left the destiny of the 80th Masters up in the air.

USA's Jordan Spieth putts on the 18th green during Round Three of the  Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday. Pic/AFP
USA's Jordan Spieth putts on the 18th green during Round Three of the  Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday. Pic/AFP

Spieth held a four-shot lead with two holes to play on a windswept day at Augusta National, but bogeyed the 17th and double bogeyed the 18th after wild drives to card a 73 and finish three under par, just a shot ahead of fellow American Smylie Kaufman.

have to absolutely throw it away, the finish to this round, pretend it's a new round, everyone is tied and you have to shoot the best score to win," said Spieth, who is aiming to become the fourth player after Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods to win back-to-back titles.

American Smylie Kaufman
American Smylie Kaufman

"(I have to) understand it's the position I wanted to be in after 54 holes and not think about the finish to this round. It's going to be very difficult. I played the last three holes, the last two days, five over par. There was no challenge in those holes really.

"If I'm at five, six under, that certainly brings anyone who is over par almost out of the tournament. And now with very little wind, someone gets on a run and shoots six, seven under, I know I have to shoot a significant under par round in order to win this tournament, when I could have played a different style of golf like I did on Sunday last year."

'Will watch a movie'

Asked how he would clear his head, Spieth joked: "Probably go break something really quick, have dinner and watch a movie. I think it will be tough personally. That wasn't a fun last couple holes to play from the position I was in.

"I certainly felt better last year on Saturday night than I do right now. I had a four-shot lead and everything was going right. But at the same time, I feel that if I can get to the range, I straighten the ball out tomorrow, I get back to the same routine I was just in, I certainly think that down the stretch I'm better prepared now than I was at this point last year."

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