With Open glory in his sights, Spieth is a legend in the making

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Jordan Spieth's nerveless birdie putt on the 18th on Saturday said everything you need to know about this remarkable young man.

Well, almost everything.

Addressing that 25-footer with a two-shot lead at The Open and knowing playing partner and closest rival Matt Kuchar was less than half the distance away, Spieth had every reason to feel on edge.

If he did, there was no sign of it as he found the middle of the hole to complete a 65. His compatriot's miss left Spieth sitting on a three-stroke cushion heading into the final round at Royal Birkdale.

At 23, it is already a familiar position for the American to be in. Indeed, it will be the fifth time he has led after 54 holes of a major.

Occupying that most rarefied summit in the most solitary of sports makes Sunday's challenge as much a psychological one as a technical one as he goes in search of his first Claret Jug.

That Spieth is equipped to meet the technical element of that challenge - which will become trickier amid conditions not quite so conducive - is not in doubt. His game is on the money this week, from tee to green and from there to the cup.

But his mental toughness? Well, questions do remain after his alarming back-nine showing at Augusta last year, which ensured the phrase 'Masters meltdown' was back in common use for the first time since Rory McIlroy's infamous Georgia outing in 2011.

It is odd that such doubts should persist when much of the evidence points towards Spieth being the star of his generation and future great of the game.

The accomplished golfer the world sees also comes across as a very accomplished gentleman - thoughtful, polite and dignified; a fine role model for the sport.

To listen to him speak in his media conferences this week, it is easy to forget his relatively tender years. There is a maturity in his persona befitting a man of a far older vintage, and a weight to his intellect that shines through in the analytical way he dissects questions and dignifies each one with a considered response.

If Spieth finishes the job in Southport, he could complete the career grand slam at next month's US PGA Championship and would be the youngest player to do so - edging out a certain Tiger Woods by half a year and joining fellow major quartet winners Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen.

Ascending to the ranks of such esteemed company appears to be Spieth's destiny. He is a legend in the making.