Entering the final round of the 2014 Masters today, Bubba Watson is the only past winner who is in serious contention, meaning there is an overwhelming chance that there will be a new champion being fitted for his green jacket this afternoon. Masters rookies among the leaders hoping to start their careers with a bang, mixed with three veterans over 40 years old, knowing they are in the mix for what could be their last chance at the elusive green jacket, makes for a very compelling storyline.
Among those tour veterans vying for their first Masters victory, Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk were not among the favorites heading into this tournament. Although, their experience on this course showed through, as between the two of them, they have combined for only five bogeys during their third round on Saturday. Watson shot five bogeys all by himself on Saturday, which opened the door for a new champion to arise on Sunday.
Another veteran who tossed his hat in the ring on Saturday is 50-year-old Juan Angel Jimenez. Jimenez was able to get to three under for the tournament after shooting the lowest round of the tournament on moving day with a 66, six under par for the round.
A trio of young talent also has their eyes set on the green jacket on Sunday afternoon, including two Masters rookies. Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt are both making their Augusta debuts as professionals, and neither have shown a hint of nerves so far. Spieth ended Day 3 with a share of the lead, chasing down Watson after shooting a two under par 70. Blixt has been able to convert 14 birdie chances through his first three rounds to get himself to four under for the tournament, just one stroke back of the lead. Not to be outdone, 25-year-old Rickie Fowler came out on fire on Saturday with a 5-under-67 to get himself to three under overall for the tournament, and in the mix for his first major victory.
Needless to say, Watson will not give up the green jacket willingly, though it sure feels as though he lost a bit of his momentum on Saturday. At any rate, the final round on Sunday is shaping up to become an instant classic.