AUGUSTA: Sweden’s Jonas Blixt and rising US star Jordan Spieth have put themselves in contention to win the Masters in their first Augusta National appearance, a feat unseen in 35 years.
“Ultimately, if you’re playing extremely well and you get the right breaks, then it doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your 50th, I think that you can win out here,” Spieth said.
Spieth, who last year became the first teen since 1931 to win a US PGA event, fired a two-under 70 Friday and Blixt, fourth in last year’s PGA Championship in only his second major start, shot 71 to join the American on three-under 141.
That’s level for third alongside defending champion Adam Scott but four adrift of leader Bubba Watson and one back of Australian John Senden entering the weekend at Augusta National.
In all, 11 of the record 24 first-time Masters players made the cut on four-over 148, Dutchman Joost Luiten on the number.
But Spieth and Blixt and American Jimmy Walker, a three-time US PGA winner this season who stands on 142, are the ones with the best chance of becoming the first newcomers to capture the green jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.
Before that, it had not happened since Gene Sarazen back in the second Masters in 1935.
Blixt says he enjoys the rock-hard, lightning-fast and undulating greens that formidable Augusta National offers.