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Jordan Spieth's slip up in round three was a factor in Masters collapse

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The 12th hole at Augusta has taken many victims since the course's construction in 1934 but last week it made a fool out of world number two Jordan Spieth as he looked almost certain to retain his Masters title.

Four birdies in four holes between the sixth and ninth put him five shots ahead of his nearest competitor, which at that point was the eventual champion, Danny Willett. But bogeys at 10 and 11 soon cut that lead and sent him back to five under par.

The main talking point of Spieth's round however, came on the 155-yard par 3 that stretches over Rae's Creek. Rounds one and two saw the American card two steady pars and then a birdie for his third. But Sunday wasn't to be the same.

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With the wind circulating it becomes difficult to work out the yardage and ultimately the club selection. Spieth had similar problems and found the Creek with not only his first shot but also his third after catching it heavy and eventually finishing with a quadruple bogey. Six dropped shots in three holes saw him plummet from seven-under-par to one under.

Willett carded a bogey-free 67 to win his maiden major title. He finished his round like a true champion, letting his nerves drive his performance rather than hinder. This couldn't be said for Spieth. But had he already lost the Masters before his first tee shot on Sunday?

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The majority of media representatives have spoken about Spieth's demise through Amen Corner but have they missed out two vital holes?

The two-time major winner started the final round with a one-shot lead over Smylie Kaufman but it could have been four had it not been for the final two holes of his third round. A bogey at the 17th and a double at the 18th saw him slip back with to within touching distance of the chasing back.

The Masters - Round Three

If Spieth goes into the final round with a four-shot lead, the tournament is over. The 22-year-old has finished tournaments from this position before with ease and did so last year at the Masters, where he took a four-shot lead going into the final round and carded a record equaling 18 under-par to take his maiden major title.

A four-shot lead is something he is familiar with and a position he is fond of. Two pars on the final two holes all but secures victory for him, but dropping three shots and inevitably his four-shot lead put him in a position and a frame of mind that only his competitors would have enjoyed.

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Topics:
US Masters
Tiger Woods
Golf
Rory McIlroy

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