I think we can win this thing - Spieth buoyed by strong finish

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Jordan Spieth has never finished lower than second in the Masters and feels he is very much in the hunt for another tilt at a green jacket after closing in on the leaders through 36 holes at Augusta.

Spieth's hopes of regaining the title he won in 2015 - and famously threw away 12 months ago - were severely hampered on Thursday when he made nine at the par-five 15th en route to a 75.

However, the 23-year-old Texan responded superbly in round two, birdies on the 13th, 16th and 18th enabling him to get back to level par for the tournament - four adrift of co-leaders Rickie Fowler, Thomas Pieters, Sergio Garcia and Charley Hoffman.

Asked how he felt about his position in the tournament, Spieth, who signed for a 69, told reporters: "Significantly better. From yesterday, at this point in time, drastically [better].

"It was a really good day at Augusta National. I'm very pleased with the second round of this Masters and we're in a position now where we, I think, can go out there and win this thing and certainly make a run.

"That right there just kind of gives me chills, because after yesterday I was really disappointed in being 10 shots off the lead. But those last couple putts, I had confidence in them, put really nice strokes on them and I finally got them to go."

Spieth's successful birdie try at 18 prompted a huge roar from the Augusta patrons and Saturday will feature the tantalising prospect of the world number six playing in the company of three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson.

Referencing the buzz from the crowd, Spieth added: "I certainly felt it towards the end of the round. The crowds are so great and they have been so gracious to me and our history out here and it's just incredible to play in front of them.

"This is my favourite tournament with the galleries here and The Open Championship, those are the two that we look forward to the galleries feeding us.  

"That can happen in both places and especially as you come in this finishing stretch. And I think tomorrow, it looks like I'll be paired with Phil. I'm sure we'll both enjoy that and try and feed off of it."