Debutant Jordan Spieth, 20, heads into the third round of the Masters just three shots off the lead

Words: Robin Barwick

The Masters is a golf tournament for the ages, and the 2014 Masters is a tournament for all ages. A record 24 Masters debutants teed up on Thursday in the first round, and a record 11 of them have made the cut. Further around the circle of life, yet still full of vigour, are a record six golfers over the age of 50 to have also made the cut yesterday at Augusta National.

The youngest golfer still in the Masters field is Oliver Goss, the 19-year-old amateur who finished runner-up to Matthew Fitzpatrick in the 2013 US Amateur. Although Goss grew up in Australia and now goes to college in Tennessee, he is England-born, and as the only amateur golfer remaining in the Master field, he is due to collect the Sterling Silver Cup as low Masters amateur tomorrow evening.

The youngest professional still in the field is American Jordan Spieth, who tees off at 2:25 today with defending champion Adam Scott, in the third-to-last pairing. Speith, 20, shot 71-70 in the first two rounds, displaying patience, maturity and creativity beyond his years by a mile.

Spieth already has a CV of startling success. The Texan golfer reached number-one on the World Amateur Golf Ranking in 2012, and became the youngest winner on the PGA Tour since Ralph Guldahl in 1931, when he won the 2013 John Deere Classic at the age of 19. Spieth was named Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour last year, and became the first ever rookie to play in the Presidents Cup. His world ranking is already 13th.

Mentioned time and again this week at Augusta has been the fact that no Masters rookie has slipped his arms into the Green Jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. Rookies are not supposed to win the Masters, as Augusta National is such a difficult and subtle course to learn, but if anyone is equipped to buck the trend, its Speith, who sits four shots off Bubba Watson’s halfway lead.

Robin Barwick travelled to Augusta National courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, Global Sponsor of the 2014 Masters Tournament