The seemingly unflappable Jordan Spieth finally showed some signs that the enormity of the event might be getting to him, on day three at Augusta, allowing the chasing pack to reduce the advantage that he still holds over the rest to four shots by the close. England's Justin Rose will partner the young American in the final pairing, after a wonderfully controlled third round of 67 left him almost within touching distance of the heir apparent to the Green Jacket. One shot further back is the three-time Masters' champion Phil Mickelson, whose charging round had threatened to bring him even closer to Spieth at one stage, yet he will still have been pleased with his own classy 67.

It was a day of low scores for players other than the leader for once, who seemed more determined to avoid making silly choices and lose shots that way. His patient approach was rewarded with a non-too shabby two under par 70, which allied to his amazing scoring on days one and two left him on 16 under after 54 holes, a new record at the Masters at that stage. For those looking for potential weaknesses for the rest to exploit on the final day, they could point to his double-bogey on the 17th hole or the somewhat wayward approach at the last hole. Yet the 21-year-old Texan regained his focus to par the 18th and avoid providing the rest with any further crumbs of comfort in their chase.

The fireworks came from Rose and Mickelson.

The American was the first to pop his head out from the chasing group and show that he didn't believe that the title was already decided. It was the sort of rousing effort that the American galleries have come to expect from the left-hander and would have been even better but for a near miss on a birdie attempt at the 18th hole.

As Mickelson's effort came up slightly short, Rose took up the baton of main pursuer and thrilled the packed crowds with a wonderful closing 6 holes that saw him claim five birdies. Perhaps top of his hot-shot streak was the exhilarating chip in on the sixteenth from the bunker, as the 2013 US Open champion celebrated his precise touch long before the ball had gone in the hole.

It was his brave downhill birdie at the last that established him in second place and will have added to his belief that a first Masters' title is still very much within his grasp.

World number one Rory McIlroy and the iconic Tiger Woods both showed that they still had interest in the contest, carding matching rounds of 68 to leave them tied for 5th place, but a massive 10 shots behind the overnight leader. They trail Charley Hoffman by 4 shots who couldn't quite progress his own challenge at the top with an up and down round of 71, to leave him back on ten under in outright fourth place.

With 18 holes to go, Spieth will probably look to replicate his 3rd round and play slightly defensively to protect his lead.

That could create tension down the final stretch if the rest are still in contention and he will hope to avoid the woes of McIlroy from 2011, when the Ulsterman blew his own four shot lead on the final day. If the American can avoid a similar collapse, he would become the youngest Masters' winner since Tiger Woods and he hasn't gone on to have too bad a career in the game!