Masters leaderboard 2014: Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar jump ahead while Fred Couples charges

Andrew Redington

After two highlight hole-outs, Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar have jumped ahead at the Masters, while 54-year old Fred Couples is making an early run on Sunday at Augusta.

The leaders are just a few holes into Sunday's final round at the Masters, and the early mover is 54-year-old Fred Couples. The 1992 winner birdied the first two holes at Augusta National to promptly jump to 3-under, just three shots off the pace.

Couples making the cut is automatic at Augusta. It's a course where some of the older guys can still hang with the really long hitters, and Couples has perfected the way to play it at his age. In the past four years, he has finished 6th, 15th, 12th, and 13th. It's an amazing run, but after getting to the first page of the leaderboard at the midpoint, he usually recedes on the weekend. His notoriously balky back catches up with his ability to make crisp swings four straight days on the hilly Augusta layout.

But Freddie held on in the third round to stay in the conversation, shooting a 1-over 73 to settle just outside the top 10. And now he's made an early move to apply some pressure to the leaders behind him. He will draw massive crowds and roars every time he does something good, so it's going to be one of the biggest early stories.

Behind Couples, however, a couple Americans are pushing the margin, with Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar the first to get it to 6-under. Spieth went wayward off the first tee, but managed to get back on track and get off with a par. At the second, a gettable par-5 that surrendered that double-eagle to Louis Oosthuizen two years ago, Spieth had to lay up but put his third shot within striking distance on the sloping green. His birdie putt snuck in the back door for a momentary spot alone on top of the leaderboard.

Spieth_medium

That putt would put Spieth on top for just a few moments, as Kuchar chipped in one hole ahead to erase the lead. Kuchar, who started a shot behind Spieth, got his birdie at the par-5 second but looked to be in trouble on the shorter par-4 third hole. After putting his ball over the green, he needed to get up-and-down to stay a shot back. Instead, Kuchar, with the flagstick still in the cup, ran it right in for the back-to-back birdies and co-share of the lead.

Kuchip_medium

The lanky Georgia Tech product probably hit the shot of the day on Saturday, a smooth chip from an impossible spot at No. 15. And this chip is now the early shot of the day on Sunday. Here's the current leaderboard after some early movements at Augusta:

Place

Player

Score

Through

T1

Matt Kuchar

-6

3

T1

Jordan Spieth

-6

2

3

Bubba Watson

-5

2

4

Jonas Blixt

-4

2

T5

Fred Couples

-3

6

T5

Thomas Bjorn

-3

5

T5

Rickie Fowler

-3

3

T8

Jim Furyk

-2

4

T8

Miguel Jimenez

-2

3

T10

Jimmy Walker

E

10

T10

Ian Poulter

E

7

T10

Kevin Stadler

E

6

T10

Justin Rose

E

5

T14

Stewart Cink

1

16

T14

Jamie Donaldson

1

12

T14

Rory McIlroy

1

10

T14

Jason Day

1

9

T14

Adam Scott

1

8

T14

John Senden

1

6

T14

Lee Westwood

1

4

T21

Bernhard Langer

2

11

T21

Chris Kirk

2

9

T21

Gary Woodland

2

6

T24

Hunter Mahan

3

14

T24

Bill Haas

3

14

T24

Louis Oosthuizen

3

12

T27

Joost Luiten

4

F

T27

Martin Kaymer

4

14

T27

Henrik Stenson

4

11

T27

Gonzalo Fdez-Castano

4

10

T31

Russell Henley

5

10

T31

Steve Stricker

5

9

T33

Stephen Gallacher

6

F

T33

K.J. Choi

6

F

T33

Jose Maria Olazabal

6

15

T33

Steven Bowditch

6

14

T33

Kevin Streelman

6

7

T38

Brandt Snedeker

7

F

T38

Brendon de Jonge

7

F

T38

Thongchai Jaidee

7

F

T38

Billy Horschel

7

F

T38

Vijay Singh

7

15

43

Lucas Glover

8

F

T44

Mike Weir

9

F

T44

Sandy Lyle

9

F

T44

Nick Watney

9

F

T44

Thorbjorn Olesen

9

F

T44

Darren Clarke

9

16

49

Oliver Goss

10

F

50

Francesco Molinari

11

F

51

Larry Mize

16

F

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