Four became one but, despite his rapidly shrinking lead, Justin Rose claimed he felt more comfortable at the end of the second day of the 85th Masters than he did at the first. “Sleeping will be easier tonight,” Rose said, after he proved to himself and Augusta that he had come armed for his unlikely challenge with the stomach for the fight.
Some will be surprised at that statement, not only because of the proximity of Americans Brian Harman and Will Zalatoris, his nearest pursuers, but also because of the identities of a couple of heavyweights, who tore a few strips out of the Englishman’s advantage.
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 champion, is in a tie for fourth on five-under while Justin Thomas, the world No 2, is only one further back.
Yet Dustin Johnson and Rory Mcilroy have missed the cut. World No 1 Johnson, looking to become just the fourth defending champion to retain the title, bogeyed the 17th and needed a birdie on the 18th. However, the bogey left him two adrift on five-over after a 75.
That was one better than the out-of-sorts McIlroy, who never looked like making it. His 74 was an improvement on his 76, but this was no time for consolation. This was his first Masters missed cut in 11 years. Pete Cowen, his new coach, plainly has his work cut out.
Rose is an example of how quickly it can be turned around following his abject 2020. The 40-year-old had not played for five weeks coming in, due to a back spasm and then, after he recovered, made the decision to eschew a pre-event to focus entirely on winning his second major. So far, his radical plan is working.
Granted, Rose’s prayers of a procession may be up in smoke, but this was hardly the nightmare recession he feared when, in his words, “my finger reached for the panic button” in the midst of a terrible start. He gallantly battled back for a 72 to remain on seven under and said: “ I would definitely have taken this position at the start.”
The 40-year-old has been around too long and played in too many Masters to know that runaway leaders at Augusta rarely enjoy uninterrupted progress to the Butler Cabin. He is also aware that if he is finally to don a Green Jacket, he will have to scrap for every piece of thread.
With his stunning opening 65, Rose had marched clear. Nobody since Craig Wood 80 years ago has ever enjoyed a bigger first-round advantage and the American is one of only five champions who went wire-to-wire, the last being Spieth six years ago. Rose was second on that occasion – one of his two runner-up finishes here – so was fully appreciative of the scale of the challenge awaiting despite his remarkable beginning. And he still is.
“It was a classic day at Augusta, as I was just a little bit off at the start and was made to pay,” he said. “It certainly felt a lot different to yesterday and there was anxiety, but I told myself on the eighth, ‘Hey, you’re still leading the Masters.’ That changed my mindset. I scratched a line on my scorecard and played matchplay against the course. I was three down and I had the [18-foot] putt on 18 to win my match, but an honourable draw.”
There were four dropped shots in Rose’s first seven holes, as he fell back to four under. His bogey on the seventh led to him being caught by Bernd Wiesberger – the Austrian who shot a day’s best 66 to move to four under – but, just as on Thursday, when he played that initial septet in two over, Rose refused to buckle. He dug deep, parred the next five, then moved on to the par-five 13th.
He hit the green in two, two-putted for his four and when he holed a 20-footer for another birdie on the 14th, Rose was in full cry. He failed to make another four on the par-five 15th, but converted up the slope at the par-three 16th.
“Very rarely do you put a great round of golf together like I did yesterday and back it up with another,” he said. “There’s going to be situations at the weekend where I probably face mini-crises out there and that’s what you have to go through to win a major – you don’t just skip round for 72 holes. I’m fully expecting to face that a couple more times and just to keep battling through it. Like I said, sleeping on the lead last night makes it much easier tonight.”
Zalatoris is a debutant and, famously, no Augusta first-timer has won since Fuzzy Zoeller 42 years ago. The 24-year-old had no playing status less than two years ago but has emerged in the big time with a succession of top 10s. This 68 was further evidence of his quality.
Of course, everybody knows all about Spieth, the Augusta specialist who, from 2014 to 2016, went second, first, second in this event. Last Sunday, the 27-year-old ended a near four-year barren run with victory at the Texas Open. This 68, taking the three-time major champion alongside Australian Marc Leishman, showed he had experienced no hangover from a comeback win he described as “monumental for me”.
His great friend Thomas birdied all three holes around Amen Corner and was six under for the day playing the 18th, only to three-putt from 25 feet for a 67. “Mad is an understatement of how I’m feeling right now. It’s a putt I’m looking to make and I three-putt it. You just can’t give up shots like that,” he said. “I played really well today. To almost go bogey-free round this place is great. The greens were substantially more soft.”
Bryson DeChambeau was relieved to see it, the reigning US Open champion bouncing back from a 76 with a 67 that hurtled him to one under. Apart from Rose, it was a mixed day for the British contingent, with England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick on level, after a pair of 70s, and Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre on the same.
Oban should be proud of the 24-year-old left-hander. “Yesterday it was the nerves, I was shaking on the first tee,” MacIntyre said, reflecting on his opening 74. “That’s normal here, but today I wasn’t worried about anything other than getting back in the golf tournament.
“That’s what I went and did. I’m going to have a chance over the weekend if I can post a good one tomorrow.”
Rory McIlroy looked in serious danger of missing the cut on Friday night after slipping from four over par at the beginning of his round to six over with three holes to play.
Paul Casey has a birdie attempt on the last
But ends up three-putting from just off the green.
He makes the weekend on three-over, 10 shots behind Rose.
Patrick Reed – the 2018 champion shoots a three-over 74 to end the day on one-over. He’s eight back.
Big names to miss the weekend
These are those with free time on their hands over the next two days.
Matthew Wolff disqualified
Confirmation that MCILROY- as with DJ – MISSES THE CUT
He hasn’t looked comfortable at all – the approach on 10, where he sliced an iron deep into the woods for a lost ball, sums up where his game is at at the moment.
He’ll come again, but for now he’ll have to wait yet another year to see whether he can put on the elusive green jacket.
He finished on six-over after a torrid couple of days where he didn’t once look his talented, happy self on the fairways.
Schauffele made a brilliant, gutsy, solid par save on 18 and he’s on three-over
Rahm finished with a par to end on level-par for the first two days – he’s not out of it.
DJ shoots a five on the last and MISSES THE CUT
The world No. 1 finishes on five-over for the tournament – that won’t be good enough to make the cut and what a shock that is. He wasn’t playing overly well coming into his title defence but he loves Augusta and was expected to do well.
A round of 75 illustrated he didn’t have his best – or even close to his best for that matter – and never got going.
Westwood ends with a missed short putt for birdie and on five-over. The damage was done yesterday with that 78.
DJ has to do a Sandy Lyle…
…and get up and down from that famous bunker.
The defending champion doesn’t get a clean contact and it ends up short of the bunker guarding the green. His race is seemingly run…
DJ’s drive on 18 finds the bunker
He can still get up and down from there but it won’t be the easiest route to ensuring he’s playing this weekend.
DJ has a three-putt bogey on 17
Hmmmm, he’ll definitely be here on Sunday to give out the green jacket but he needs a birdie on the last now to ensure he’s playing at the weekend. He’s four-over on the 18th tee.
Westwood pars the hole to stay at five-over and, barring a miracle, his race is run.
DJ has a six-footer for par on 17
Can he make it? He probably needs to…
Schauffele moves to three-under
Why his playing partners were toiling on 16 the American quietly went about his business and fired in a birdie. He’s right in the mix.
Both Rory (six-under) and Rahm (one-over) make par – both impressive from where their tee shots ended up.
Both Rahm and Rory…
…atone for their dire tee shots on 16 with great recoveries. McIlroy’s chip – that ended six-feet from the pin – was about as good as he could have hoped for.
DJ is on the pine straw on the 17th
Not an ideal place to attack the tough green from…
Rory and Rahm both play pretty poor tee shots on 16
McIlroy goes over the back with an eight-iron and Rahm short-sides himself into the bunker.
On the evidence of his reaction to that shot fatherhood hasn’t mellowed the Spaniard…he’s pretty angry and nearly takes it out on the offending club.
McIlroy makes birdie at the 15th
He’s now six-over – he need three birdies to finish. Highly unlikely BUT you never know…
Rahm is on one-over after a bogey on the same hole.
Schauffele makes a good par (tricky par putt) to stay at two-under
Did someone say tricky two-putt?
DJ makes it look easy and he saves par on 16 without need for a furrowed brow. He stays on three-over.
Westwood just misses his birdie putt and he is five-over with two to go. He needs a birdie-birdie finish and a bit of luck with that cut line.
DJ’s tee shot on 16 causes him yet more agony
It looks like a brilliant tee shot – it lands eight feet from the pin on the top shelf. BUT then it trickles down the green and he now has a challenging two-putt to save par and stay at three-over.
DJ bogeys 15
That approach into the water has really hurt him – he’s now at three-over and on the cut line.
The scoring average is three shots better today compared to yesterday and it could move to two-over…
Will Zalatoris speaks…
On whether he expected to play so well on his Masters debut…
“Yes, but of course the fact I am here is pretty cool. To be possibly in the the last group of the Masters on a Saturday is a dream come true.”
On how he will approach tomorrow’s round…
“Same old, same old, it’s really exciting and I cannot wait.”
Fancy looking at another Hovland chip in?
Of course you do.
Matsuyama finishes on four-under
He pars the last to end with a one-under 71. He’s in a great spot heading into the weekend.
His playing partner Ancer ends with a three-under 69 to take him to level-par (he had two penalty shots for a minor infringement in the bunker yesterday)
There’s a long discussion about where to drop it
Once DJ gets the all clear he plays over the water again to leave himself a 12-foot putt for par. He needs to make it.
DJ in the drink on 15
His approach makes it to the green but then rolls back into the water at the front. A yard further and he was looking at an eagle. He’s looking at a bogey the cut is projected to be at three-over and he is currently two-over…
Hovland chips in another!
The baby-faced Norwegian (no, not OGS of Man Utd…) was three-over on the 13th tee and since then has racked up three birdies and an eagle. The latest birdie came on the 17 courtesy of yet another delightful chip. He’s now on one-under.
Champ is another young gun to watch for over the weekend
The American pars the last to finish on four-under after a four-under 68. He bombs in a mile and, like many of the 20-somethings (Exhibit A: Zalatoris) doesn’t seem to be overawed both by the tournament of the fabled turf on which it is played.
Matsuyama misses a great chance to get to five-under
His 12-foot putt on the 17th misses on the low side. He stays at four-under
Possibly the shot of the day
Victor Hovland is at level-par thanks in part to this brilliant chip from over the back on 15. It secured him an eagle and he’s not out of it – not with a touch around the greens such as this…
Did the McIlroy trio make an eagle between them?
No, no they didn’t…But they all move in the right direction for all three – birdies see Schauffele move to two-under, Rahm to level-par and Rory to seven-over
Paul Casey is wearing a garish pink top
It’s been brighter than his game toady but he birdies 12 to go to two-over and has a good chance of staying for the weekend.
Matsuyama bogeys 16
He falls back to four-under, He three-putted having seen his tee shot land on the wrong tier of the well-known green.
McIlroy group is on 13 and…
He, Schauffele, Rahm all play exquisite approaches and give themselves a decent look at eagles.
Take a bow, Justin
He will not like that
Who? Why it’s DJ of course – his birdie put is short and that’s a good opportunity gone. He’s still on two-over.
Westwood makes birdie to go to five-over.
DJ through the back on 13th
And he chunks his chip all of two yards – ouch.
Hurrah for Harman
The little heralded lefty rolls in a birdie putt on 18 (not seen many of those today) to finish birdie-birdie and join Zalatoris on six-under. One back of Rose.
Rahm has been quiet
The Spaniard and new Dad is one-over through 12. He hasn’t got going yet. As with everyone – but especially long hitters like him – he’ll be eyeing up the 13th and 15th to try to get under-par and into the tournament.
Schauffele, playing with Rahm and McIlroy is on one-under.
Kim is a better putter with his three-wood than with his putter
He plays another delightful putt on 17 with the wood – that shaves the hole. He stays at four-under.
I give you the leaderboard
DJ pops in a birdie on Golden Bell
That’s the par-three 12th (but, you knew that, didn’t you?) He’s back to two-over for the tournament and with two par fives to come he’ll be thinking about getting to under-par before he leaves the 18th.
Westwood pars to stay at six-over
Zalatoris has only gone and…
…birdied the last three holes to move to six-under, one shot off the lead.
The 24-year-old has looked easy and confident from the start yesterday and his back-nine of five-under today illustrates it will take more than a few fabled fairways, a bit of water and tricky greens to faze him.
Kim has a wobbly
He’s on the 16th green and is using his three-wood to putt with. The putter was damaged from ‘an episode’ on the 15th green.
Not sure what prompted the outburst. He’s putting for birdie…he just misses. He’s clearly putted with the three-wood before that was a delightful stroke. He makes sure of par next up to stay at four-under
It’s not happening for DJ and Westwood
DJ bogeyed the 10th and follows that up with a par on the tough 11th. He’s on three-under – toying with the cut line
Westwood bogeyed 11 and is now back to six-over.
McIlroy ends up with a double bogey at 10
He couldn’t find his ball and ended up with a six (he was left with a tricky putt for the six, so he did well to make that)
He’s now at eight over.
Zalatoris looks like a good player
The young (and fairly skinny – a mate has just said there’s more meat on a flag stick…) American has got a birdie on 17 – his fourth of the back nine to move to five-under.
He’s highly thought of and it doesn’t take more than a few brain cells to work out why…
It’s painful watching Rory like this
At his finest he’s a joy to watch – elegant, fun, awesome.
At the moment he’s stuck in a swing rut and he’s not enjoying it and shots like that are horrendous when mere hackers play them. When it’s the best player in the world (on his day…_) it’s horrendous.
…it’s more McIlroy woe on 10.
His drive is perfect – down the middle – but his approach is sliced well into the trees and it looks like he takes a provisional…
Not exactly sticking my neck out on the line, I know, but he’s not making it to the weekend…
Matsuyama’s been quiet today…
…until the 13th. The early pacesetter from yesterday (before Rose went ballistic…) was one-over for his round until he rolled in that putt on the famous par five to move to four-under
Jordan Spieth speaks…
On how Augusta played today…
“Today the conditions were a lot easier – softer greens and less wind. It was a good last six holes. I was hitting good shots. I want to move up further tomorrow.”
On his game…
“I felt more in control of my game here – it’s getting there. I don’t have a ton of consistency in the traction of my swing. I’d like to roll a few more putts in. The greens will speed up so I probably don’t need to make too much of an adjustment.”
Another home favourite who needs a bit of magic is…
…Roy McIlroy. He’s six-over after an instantly forgettable front nine. He fired seven pars and two bogeys and we didn’t even have the fun of yesterday – when he hit his Dad on the back of the calf with a wayward approach – to lift his round from the merely dull, hum drum.
Ian Poulter flirting with the cut line
The Englishman saves par on 15 to stay at three-over. The cut line could well move to two-over so he may well need a birdie in his final three holes.
Leaderboard in the clubhouse.
DJ finds the sand on 10
He’ll have a tricky up and down to save par…
No way Jose!
Well, yes actually.
Jose Maria Olazabal has made his first cut at Augusta since 2014. That’s all thanks to a second round 71. He’s on three-over for the first two days.
DJ back to two-over
The man who loves his sandwiches records back-to-back birdies on eight and nine – as it stands he’s staying for the weekend and with the par fives on 13 and 15 to come he’ll have his eyes set on going under for the tournament by the end of the day (and of course those sandwiches…).
On his round of 67 to move him to four-under…
“It was nice. I am mad now [after dropping a shot on 18], you cannot give up shots here. The greens were soft today compared to yesterday.”
On how he loves playing at Augusta…
“I am always confident around here – but’s about how you play. It’s about execution. I hit a few putts that didn’t really go in.”
DJ and Westwood both birdie the eighth
The current cut mark is three-over…
So those gained shots on the par five will be more than welcome.
Westwood is on five-over and the defending champion is on three-over
The magic with the flat stick I was referring to…
…was on the 17th alone. The fact is that Spieth didn’t make nearly as many putts as he possibly should have. If his putter gets hot…
Spieth’s magic with the flat stick returns
Spieth does just what was required
He seems to be back – a 68 moves the 2015 winner to five-under for the tournament and he will be the proverbial danger man come this weekend. His driving was vastly better than yesterday and he was able to capitalise.
His playing partners Cam Smith and Collin Morikawa both end on two-under and still within range of Rose at the top of the leaderboard.
JT (Justin Thomas not John Terry btw…) finishes on four-under
That was a fine round of golf from The Players champion. He started the day on one-over and a 67 sees him move into contention on a course that suits his game to a tee. BUT he will be walking off the 18th disappointed as he recorded his only bogey the last – a three-putt from nowhere to blame.
His playing partner Tony Finau ends on a bogey (a pretty weak par putt) finishes on four-under after another 66.
Spieth moves to five-under
He’s putting together a fine back nine – a birdie on 17 (his fourth of the inward nine) gets him to within two of Rose.
He could well play tomorrow with his good buddy JT, who is on 18 at the moment also on five-under
Rory’s bunker shot goes…
…into the bunker over the green. Nothing is working for the Northern Irishman.
DeChapeau for Bryson
He birdies the last for a par 67 (for him, at least…) and he’s now back in this at one-under for the tournament. That 18th was the Muscle Man at his most exciting, big-hitting best. His drive was bombed well left into some trees and from there he got it up and down for a delightful, DeChambeau-esque three.
*yes, I know it was a five-under 67…
McIlroy leaves himself a tough up and down on seven
Won’t bang on about this but he doesn’t look his normal happy self – we knew he came into the tournament with his game in far from the best of shapes but he looks short on confidence and not really enjoying himself.
Those bubbling under
By that I mean those not pairing with friends for coronavirus regulations, rather, those who are under par for the tournament.
A number of players have been making moves and among them are…
Cameron Champ – the big-hitting American is three-under through nine.
Brian Harman – the lefty started on three-under and is still there through 12 – as is Zalatoris.
Collin Morwikawa – the highly fancied American is back on one-under
Xander Schauffele – is also on one-under and one-under for the round through six.
Woe for Rory
McIlroy is almost looking as forlorn as DJ – he bogeys the fifth – after his poor chip left him with a tough par-save putt and he’s now at five-over.
DeChambeau turning it around
The muscle man has birdied the 17th to move to four-under for the day and level-par for the tournament. He’s not too far back of the leaders and perhaps, just perhaps, he may move into contention on moving day tomorrow.
The defending champion started with a bogey to move him in the wrong direction on three-over. He then hit back-to-back birdies before undoing all that good work with a double bogey at five and another bogey at six…He’s now on four-over and flirting with the cut line.
Having got to two-under…
…Tommy Fleetwood ends the day on level-par. It was a good round but more a case of what might have been after going out in four-under.
Smith back to two-under
The Australian’s charged has been blunted by a double bogey at the 15th.
It’s great, Tony
McIlroy is still struggling
We see the former world No.1 for the first time today – he’s on four-over and trying to move in the right direction. He tries to chip in for birdie on the fifth but his attempt barely makes the green and he’ll have a tough putt for par.
DeChambeau moves to one-over
He’s had a steady round – three-under – to get him close to level par. He’s currently on the 17th.
Smith finds the water on 15
His drive found a divot and the Aussie was forced to lay up. His 65-yard pitch hits the green but rolls back into he water.
His drop – his fifth shot – goes over the pin and leaves him with a 15-footer for a bogey.
Leaderboard (at least the top of it…)
Rose – 7
JT marches on to five-under
He’s been in fine touch today – (four birdies on the back nine so far) he has a putt to go to six-under at 15. He lags his putt and ensures the birdie.
His compatriot and playing partner Finau also is putting together a great round – he’s seven-under for the day – five-under overall
A bit more on Rose
Before we concentrate on those still out on the course…
As he himself said, it’s rare to back up a 65 with something similarly spectacular. He might well have taken a 72 before the round, he’s got experience of both being in contention in majors and at Augusta and the resilience he showed today illustrates he’ll be tough to beat if he can keep in control of his game.
Justin Rose speaks…
On the tough start to his second round…
“The finger was moving towards the panic button – I was leaving the ball in tough positions. But weathered that period of the round. Little things were going wrong. But I didn’t hit the panic button and am really pleased with how I played.”
On not shooting another low score today…
“I’ve been doing this a long time, it’s rare you back up a round like yesterday’s with another. There will be similar mini crises this weekend you don’t skip around a golf course for 72 holes.”
On how he’s approaching the weekend…
“I won’t be fazed and I know what to expect. There was an opportunity to shoot lower [than 72] today.”
The leaderboard – Smith loves Augusta
Cam Smith is putting together another fine round at Augusta. He eagled 13 to get to five-under. Alas he’s just bogeyed 14 to fall back to four-under.
A back-nine Billy
Rose leads the way on seven-under
Rose is in the bunker off the tee on 18. He plays a fine approach from very near where Sandy Lyle played his memorable shot on the way to his 1988 win.
He two putts (was so close to another birdie) to close on level par for the day and seven-under for the first two rounds.
Lowry ends with a birdie to finish on level par. Their playing partner Matt Kucher will likely make the weekend after a birdie sees him close on four-over (the cut will likely move to five-over)
Spieth will be there or thereabouts whatever happens
Not exactly a bold prediction, I know. But he’s just got a birdie at the 13th having dropped a shot on 12. He’s a gutsy so and so and will be hard to shake off if within a sand wedge of the lead on Sunday. He’s back to three-under
The cut line is…
…currently three-over so there are a host of big names who need to get a wriggle on…Westwood, DJ, Cantlay, Koepka and McIlroy who has opened with two pars to stay on four-over
Rose pars 17
So that means he’s on seven-under heading to the last.
Cam Smith on the charge!
The mullet man (his hair is an acquired taste – it has a Tiger King sort of vibe…see below) knocked it to within a foot at 12 and now he’s just knocked it to within a foot on the 13th – he’ll have that for an eagle to go to four-under.
Did someone say Amen Corner was tough?
JT is now at four-under
The American has just conjured up three birdies on the bounce – he looks upset as he was an inch from an eagle on the 13th.
But I am sure he’ll get over it and he’s now just three back from Rose.
Lee Westwood had a howler on the first but…
…having bogeyed that he bounced back with a birdied on the next and is back at six-over. He needs a good round to just make the cut.
Marc Leishman speaks…
On how the course is playing and his round…
“[I am] very satisfied, it was more scoreable but the greens are still firm and fast and hope I can keep it going.”
Byrson bouncing back
After his mammoth drive on the 13th, DeChambeau is on in two and he two-putts for birdie .
He’s now on two-over for the tournament.
Rose birdies 16
He’s doing it again – that is dominating the back nine. The leader moves to seven-under for the tournament and level for the round after his third birdie of the inward nine.
1. Rose -6
2. Leishman -5
T3. Wiesberger -4
T.3 Harman -4
T.5 Spieth -3
T.5 Thomas -3
T,5 Finau -3
Leishman finishes with a five-under 67
That was a fine round by the Aussie who, like Wiesberger, has a decent if not spectacular record at Augusta. He’s on five-under one back of Rose.
His fellow Australian, Cam Smith is also having a good round – the only man to shoot four rounds in the 60s at the Masters is four-under for the day and two-under overall.
The field is bunching up
There were nearly 30 players under-par for their round in the earlier wave and there will likely be more good scoring this evening. The greens are softer and the pins easier to get to compared to yesterday.
DeChambeau let rip on 13 – he’s still on three-over
DJ opens up with a bogey
The defending champion was forced to play sideways out of the trees and he two putts to open with a bogey five. That’s three-over for the tournament and his past two holes.
Not the start he wanted.
Meanwhile, back-to-back birdies for JT (that’s Justin Thomas, as if you didn’t know…). He’s now at three-under and looking ominously good.
Disappointment for Rose
Don’t worry! It’s only a par and not a bogey BUT the 15th is a hole he’ll be expecting (more than mere hoping) to birdie. He played that defensively and is clearly doesn’t have the confidence of yesterday with him today.
BUT he’s on six-under and has the sole lead.
Finau drops a shot at the 12th
And he’s back to three-under.
Spieth moves to three-under
The 2015 winner is just three shot back now after a birdie at the 10th. A great drive and fine approach leaves him with an eight-footer to move up the leaderboard. He’s on three-under. His driving has been perfect today and if he can keep his tee shots on the fairway then he’ll be there or thereabouts come Sunday evening.
Justin Thomas also moves up the leaderboard – he birdies 11 to go to two-under.
Dustin Johnson gets his second round under way
DJ (as I’ll refer to him for the rest of the evening (trying to save my fingers…)) pulls his tee shot into the trees. Not the start he wanted after the double bogey on 18 last night. He’s on two-over.
Meanwhile, DeChambeau is now the right side of the cut line. He’s on three-over after a birdie at nine was then squandered at the 10th.
Rose back on top
Top of the leaderboard
1. Rose -6
2. Leishman -5
T3. Wiesberger -4
T.3 Finau -4
Tony Finau is just two back of Rose
What a round from the American. The big hitter is six-under through 10 today (one eagle (on two) and four birdies) and has moved to four-under overall.
The pack is coming back to Rose now and this is shaping up into a fascinating, competitive second round.
Another birdie for Rose!
Back-to-back birdies for Rose. He nails his breaking 20-foot putt on 14 to move to six-under and take the sole lead.
Great day for Bob MacIntyre
The Scot has made it to the weekend on his debut at Augusta.
He shot two-under for the back nine to finish the day level-par for the tournament. (74,70).
Bernd Wiesberger speaks…
On his round of 66…
“I got off to a really good start. I got in good positions off the tee so I could attack the pins. The greens were definitely softer [than yesterday].”
On how he’s playing…
“I played good, decent golf and am glad to shoot my best score at Augusta.”
On the challenge the weekend poses…
“I am looking forward to it. I feel comfortable on the greens, I felt comfortable out there and hope for the same tomorrow.”
Fleetwood stays at one-under
Having bogeyed the 11th the Englishman has a good birdie chance on 12. His misses his 15-foot left to right putt and walks off with a par. He’s playing well and now has two par fives in the next three holes to attack.
Rose and Leishman in two-way tie
As expected the round one leader two putts on 13th to go back to five-under and reclaim the joint lead. (see below)
Lowry makes a brilliant birdie having been faced with a downhill bunker shot from over the back of the green – he’s so good around the greens, possibly the best in the world on his day. He goes to one-over
Rose’s birdie was only good for the joint lead as Leishman birdied 15 to also go to five-under.
Rose on in two at the 13th
Two putts to regain the lead for Rose. He played the drive and approach to the last hole of Amen Corner to perfection and has an uphill putt of about 30-feet for an eagle.
Mickelson has a putt for birdie on the 11th, he misses and has to settle for par. He’s looking out of sorts. He stays on five-over.
Wiesberger has the clubhouse lead
He pars the last and cards a six-under 66 to end the day on four-under.
That was a great round – his lowest ever at Augusta.
While he’s never challenged for this title it’s the sixth time on six visits he’s made the weekend at the Masters. He’s clearly happy on this course and who knows what will happen this weekend. He certainly has the ball striking need to prosper at Augusta.
Marc makes his move
Justin Thomas goes under par
The strongly fancied American has got to one-under after a birdie on the par-five eighth. He’s just three shots back of the lead and he hasn’t even got out of second gear yet.
His good friend Jordan Spieth is still on two-under, one-under for the day.
Rose misses the birdie chance on 12
He’ leaves with another par and he won’t be too upset by that – his putt just finished short. Pars on 10, 11 and 12 are scores most golfers would take without a second thought.
He stays on four-under.
Meanwhile Lowry leaves the 12th with a birdie and gets back to two-over having dropped a shot on 11.
Is proving to be tougher than it looks (as always)…
There have only been 15 birdies so far this week and it’s scoring average is 3.12
Rose plays a beauty on Golden Bell
That’s the world-famous par-three 12th. He’ll have a 15-foot downhill putt for birdies.
His playing partner Matt Kuchar does what every great has done at least once – he hits his tee shot into Rae’s Creek.
This is a great hole – perhaps the most fabled at Augusta and only goes to prove that all the great par-threes are short and not ridiculously long.
Rose stays on four-under
After a few poor holes (bogeys in his first seven holes) he’s parred the past four holes – the most recent of which was the oh-so tricky 11th.
T1. Rose -4
T1. Leishman -4
T1. Wiesberger – 4
T4. Harman -3
T4. Matsuyama -3
T6. Spieth – 2
T6. Reed -2
T6. Zalatoris -2
T.6 Thompson -2
T6. Bezuidenhout -2
T6. Simpson -2
T6. Fleetwood -2
Marc Leishman has joined Wiesberger and Rose on four-under – that’s all thanks to back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 – who said Amen Corner was tough?
DeChambeau stuck on four-over
As it stands he’s missing the weekend – he bogeyed the fifth to fall to five-over, then getting it back to four-over with a birdie the very next hole.
Fleetwood continues his march
Tommy leaves the ninth green with yet another birdie – his fourth of the front nine – to move to two-under.
He’s making it look easy – hit fairways, hit greens, then one or two putt.
Playing partner Mickelson leaves the front nine with another bogey and he’s not back to five-over.
Quick word on Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam – both former champions are currently inside the cut mark.
They’re both on the early stages of the front nine and on three-over – the Welshman, winner in 1991, is one-under for the day having birdied the third.
MIckelson is playing some ‘Army’ golf
He’s in the trees on the ninth and he leaves himself a chip onto the tricky, slopping green. He’s very un-lefty like as his chip rolls back towards him and he looks dejected. He’s in grave danger of not making it to the weekend – he’s currently on four-over.
Rose has company
At the top of the leaderboard. And it’s Wiesberger who sits alongside the first-round leader. That’s all thanks to a birdie on the par-five 15th.
The Austrian had to lay up but from about 80 yards got up and down – never easy on that thin green – and moves to four-under.
While he was doing that Rose parred the treacherous 10th – thanks to a fine, lengthy first putt.
Fleetwood is driving the ball brilliantly
And being able to play from the fairway is so key at Augusta. He’s now at one-under after a birdie on the eighth. Butch Harmon on Sky is talking everyone’s favourite Evertonian golfer up…
What is helping everyone is that the greens don’t appear as fast as yesterday – for many playing that will come a a huge relief. Hatton – currently at one-under – said they were as fast as he had ever putted on.
Collin Morikawa jumping for joy
The American, (who must be the only pro golfer called Collin?) playing with Spieth is one-under for the tournament, thanks to a birdie at the third. He started the day on one-over and is now just three shots back.
Spieth, meanwhile, remains on one-under for the day and two-under for the tournament.
Debut joy for Bob MacIntyre
MacIntyre birdies 12 and 13 to go to one-over for the tournament – he started the day on two-over so the debut boy from Scotland is moving in the right direction.
Front nine over for Rose
He pars the tough ninth to go out in a three-over 39. His lead has been reduced from four to just one.
It’s fair to say it’s not what he would have wanted – three dropped shots. BUT he’s still leading and with the back-nine (which he destroyed in six-under yesterday) to come the aim will be to get back to level par for the day.
Mickelson has not made a putt all day
And his drama on the greens continues as he misses his birdie attempt from eight feet. He looks agonised by that. He needs to get going or could miss out on some weekend fun on the fairways. He stays at five-over after seven
His playing partner Fleetwood also pars to stay at level-par (two-under for the day)
1. Rose -4
T2. Leishman -3
T2. Harman -3
T2. Matsuyama -3
T2. Wiesberger – 3
T6. Spieth – 2
T6. Reed -2
T6. Zalatoris -2
T.6 Thompson -2
T6. Bezuidenhout -2
T6. Simpson -2
Rose pars the eighth – where his brilliant round got going yesterday
He leaves the par-five eighth with a par (that’s where his round got going yesterday with an eagle) but he’s still four-under and it was always unlikely he was going to repeat Thursday’s fireworks.
Mickelson hits a peach into the seventh
And he needed to – he’s on the cut line at the moment and could do with a birdie – he’s on five-over having started the day on three-over. He hits it to the back pin position and has an eight-foot putt to go back to four-over
Spieth moving more into the mix
The 2015 champions birdies the second – his approach went into the front bunker and he got up and down to move to two-under, just two shots back of Rose now (without that triple on nine yesterday he’d be leading right now…yep, I know life is full of what ifs etc etc….)
Elsewhere, DeChambeau pars the third and stays at four-over.
The projected cut mark (surely due to change ) is five-over at the moment.
Wiesberger’s tremendous 10th
Rose is still on top of the leaderboard
He’s dropped another shot BUT Wiesberger has also dropped a shot on 12 to move to three-over.
1. Rose -4
T2. Leishman -3
T2. Harman -3
T2. Matsuyama -3
T2. Wiesberger – 3
Rose bogeys again – he’s back to four-over
His first putt on the seventh is bombed six foot past the hole – it’s another knee knocker but he makes it and he’s back to four-over (three-over for the round)
Lowry also bogeys seven and he’s at two-over.
Rose is in the bunker
He leaves himself a 15-footer to save par. He’s toiling at the moment but still on top of the leaderboard and he has to par-five eighth to come where the remarkable run started for the Englishman yesterday.
Meanwhile, Fleetwood birdies the tough fifth to go to level par for the tournament (two-under for the day.
Another poor shot from Rose
It’s clearly not the same Rose today as tore up the course yesterday (not yet, anyway…) He’s pulled his approach – it looked a little fat as well – to the seventh.
He didn’t get going until the eighth yesterday so no need to worry…
Hatton back to one-under
Like a lot of his fellow pros, Hatton is finding the par-four fifth a bit of a struggle. He departs with a bogey to go back to one-under.
Can DeChambeau make a move?
Going on the scoreable par-five second, the answer is no. He leaves with a par – which will feel like a bogey – after he short-sided himself into the greenside bunker and two putted from there. He remains on four-over
Rose is struggling to make par at the par-three sixth
His tee shot hits the mound in the middle of the green and rolls back to front left, some 80-feet from the pin. His first putt goes to about eight feet of the pin but then rolls back down the slope from whence it came. From there he putts again to within six feet and holes it to leave with just a bogey. He’s at five-under for the tournament, one ahead of Wiesberger
That’s another example of how the fine the margins of error are at Augusta – his tee shot was probably no more than six-feet from where he wanted it.
Wiesberger moves to within two of Rose
The Austrian has birdied the tricky 10th – thanks to a drive down the middle, a fine approach to the back shelf where the pin is, and a nerveless putt of about 25 feet. He’s four-under overall and six under for the round. He’s the man in form on the course at the moment.
1. Rose -7
T2. Leishman -3
T2. Harman -3
T2. Matsuyama -3
T5. Wiesberger – 3
Rose saves par on the fifth
His first putt was judged to perfection to leave him with a four-footer. He remains on six-under, one-over for the day.
Jordan Spieth’s round yesterday was remarkable
He visited the trees several times, got a triple-bogey on nine but still managed to scramble for a one-under 71. His driving is still errant but he’s a gusty so and so and is well in this championship.
His opening tee shot goes to the left-hand fringe. Stay on the fairway for most of the day and with the easier pin positions he will be one to keep a very keen eye on.
DeChambeau opens his second round with a par
That’s probably the sort of hole he needed – his drive hit the fairway (it’s wasn’t WILD) and he leaves the green with par. He’s still on four-over, can he mount some sort of recovery today?
Rose in trouble again
I say ‘trouble’ even though he’s on the green in two at the fifth. He’s got a devilish two-putt to save par. He’s on another tier to the pin and the putt has to cross what looks like a tricky mound…The fifth is one of those holes, with the undulations of the green, where it’s sometimes better not to be on the green, depending on where your approach lands…
Matt Wallace continues the theme of the day so far
Golfers from the pack starting off well. The Englishman pops in his second birdie of the round at the seventh, to go with his one on the second and he’s now at level par and two under for the round.
Rose with a handy drive on the fifth
Three wood off the tee and it is smack bang in the middle of the fairway of the 495-yard par four. 214 to the pin.
And with that, I am handing over to Greg Wilcox, who will take you through the rest of the day’s play.
Tyrrell Hatton with a solid start
-1 for the day after three and in that group on -2 overall, along with a bunch of fellas who have yet to tee off.
Rose has a 3ft tester for bogey on the fourth
It has not been the steadiest start from the man who shot a superb 65 yesterday. Partner Shane Lowry sinks his par putt after starting six, six, three to stay on +2 for the day.
Can Rose make this putt? He can. Only just… A dropped shot, but could have been worse…
Back to -6 for the leader.
Rose finds the back of the green on the long par 4 fourth
40ft or so but just rolling off the back and into the first cut of the rough. He gets his putter out but doesn’t even make the green. Astonishing but again super tentative with the putter in his hands today. Almost certainly another dropped shot… if not more.
Matt Kuchar, playing partner, makes birdie on the same hole to move to +4.
Wiesberger with his fifth birdie of the day
This time on the eighth. He’s -5 for the day and has now moved into a tie for second. Superb play. He seems to like it here. Nothing too spectacular but solid finishes of T22, T34, T43, T24 and 58th in his five previous tournaments here, always making the cut. In 19 other major appearances he has been cut 10 times.
Rose misses his birdie putt on the third
A bit tentative, leaving it short. Stays at -7 for the tournament and level for the day, to lead by four from Leishman, Harman and Matsuyama on three under. Tommy Fleetwood (+2), after a par on the first, has had a wayward drive down the right of the second hole.
Wiesberger continuing steadily
No more birdies but -4 for the day (-2 overall) after seven holes today.
Good drive from Rose on the short-ish par four third
Down the left, so the green is open and in the rough but only 69 yards to go. Decent chance of a birdie? Perhaps.
His approach shot leaves him 16ft for birdie.
A quick update on the leaderboard now we’ve had some play
1. Rose -7 (2)
T2. Leishman -3 (4)
T2. Harman -3 (5.12pm)
T2. Matsuyama -3 (6.00pm)
T5. Wiesberger – 2 (7)
T5. Kokrak -2 (4)
T5. Zalatoris -2 (4.54pm)
T5. Simpson -2 (6.24pm)
T5. Bezuidenhout -2 (6.24pm)
T5. Reed -2 (7.00pm)
Rose makes his birdie on the second
So back to -7 overall for him. Meanwhile, Mickelson is in a bit of trouble on the first, going well left, closer to the adjacent fairway than the one he was aiming for. He plays out to the fairway… to within about 60 yards of the pin.
Rose’s second into the par five second is pin high
But in the rough just in front of the left greenside bunker. Plenty of the green to work with for his pitch here, so anything less than a birdie will be a disappointment.
His third over the bunker ends up two feet from the hole, so should be a formality for the Englishman.
Tidy start from Francesco Molinari
The Italian has just hit birdies on the second and third to move to -2 for the day and even overall. His second on the third was particularly delightful, checking back just a foot or so from the pin.
Rose’s drive on the second is a lot better than his one on the first
308 yards, straight down the middle. 257 to the pin on the par five second. Will quickly want to cancel out that early bogey with a birdie.
Wiesberger has his fourth birdie of the day on the fifth
He follows that up with a par on the sixth to stay four under for the day and two under in total.
A few other early movers: Marc Leishman is three under through three for the day and three under for the tournament. Try saying that after a few sherries. That moves him into a tie for second with Brian Harman.
Frenchman Victor Perez is -2 for the day after three and has moved to +4 overall.
Rose misses his 50ft par putt
Leaving two feet for bogey, which he makes. Back to -6 for the leader.
Rose has to play out sideways for his second on the first hole
So it turns out he did not have a shot. Or at least not one worth taking on. He leaves himself 155 yards from the fairway… his third is safely to the centre of the green but it’s 52ft away. A bogey looking to be the best that the leader can manage here and that is not guaranteed.
He looks rightly disgruntled at a poor approach from where he was. Have to at least give yourself half a chance for par from where he was.
Jason Kokrak and Leishman are both onto -2 for the tournament
And into a tie for fourth. Both birdied the second hole, a par five.
Rose gets his second round under way
It’s a 255-yard drive but down the right and onto the pine needles. He should have some sort of shot to the green through a couple of trees, however, so it’s not a disaster.
Larry Mize having a bit of a mare
+4 for the day, +16 overall after five holes. Can he stay out of the 80s today after yesterday’s 84? Probably not…
Meanwhile, Justin Rose is about to begin his second round
Laird drops another
This time on the par three sixth. That outs him back to +2 for the day and +3 overall. Vijay Singh, his playing partner, is now in double figures over par for the tournament and +3 for the day after six. Wiesberger’s run of birdies ends with a par on the fourth but, you know, -3 after four for the day, not bad at all.
Jason Kokrak pars the first
So he stays -1 for the tournament and in the top 10. Also just in the top 10 is his Aussie playing partner Marc Leishman who has birdied the first after a wonderful approach over the bunker and to just three or four feet.
Wiesberger’s charge continues!
The Austrian makes a third birdie in his opening three holes to move under par for the tournament. Nailed his drive 328 yards down the left of the fairway before putting his pitch to eight feet and sinking the putt. Bernd is on fire.
His playing partner Mackenzie Hughes also birdies the third to move to -2 for the tournament and the day and into a tie for fourth.
Martin Laird three-putts the fifth for a bogey
On the green in two but had a long way to go. Didn’t get his difficult first put close enough to the hole, so missed a 6ft par save. He moves back to even for the day and +2 overall.
1999 champion Jose Maria Olazabal begins with a par
He’s +3 for the tournament after a 75 yesterday, so in with a chance of making it through to the weekend if he makes a reasonable attempt today. Plenty of higher ranked players well below him, in any case.
Mackenzie Hughes down to -1 for the tournament
With a birdie on the second also. Moves him up to tied for eighth. Up and down from 17 yards for his four.
Bernd Wiesberger birdies the second
Moves to level part for the tournament and -2 for the day. Got a bit of luck with his drive that dropped down out of the trees but played a sensible hole from then, his approach shot going to seven feet and he drained the putt, which was short but with a tricky left-to-right borrow.
CT Pan of Chinese Taipei has started with a birdie
A little tickler of a putt dropped in on the first. He moves to +6. Mike Weir (+7) has bogeyed that hole, however. Vijay Singh has slipped further back to +8 for the tournament (+1 for the day) and is facing a mammoth task to make the cut.
Obviously the real interest will start once Justin Rose gets going at 2.36pm
Very few other players in the top 10 from yesterday are out early on. Jason Kokrak, on -1 and tight for eighth, is out in a couple of groups and Shane Lowry goes out with Rose. Marc Leishman also out at 2pm so some frontrunners (as much as there are any when the field is this congested) will be swinging their way around Augusta National soon.
A birdie for Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger on the first
Drove just to the edge of the fairway on the left, put his 140-yard approach to 30ft and sent in a perfectly weighted and well-read putt to move to +1 for the tournament and into the top 20. Has never missed a cut in his five previous starts here and that is a handy start to round two for the 35 year-old.
Pin positions for the second round
Martin Laird gets himself to -1 for the day
With a birdie on the par five second hole. His second did not quite reach the green on the right but he pitched to eight feet and drained the putt to go to +1 for the tournament. Partner Vijay Singh misses his nine-foot birdie putt, however, after a fairly tidy third into the green from the left.
Jimmy Walker and Brian Gay bogey the first
How does 1987 champion Larry Mize start his day? With a bogey as well after missing a seven-footer, leaving him an unlucky +13 after 19 holes…
Larry Mize, on +12, does not have a good start to the day
Finds the greenside bunker in two after a half-decent drive. Partner Brian Gay finds the green in two, though does have a 60ft putt to deal with.
Singh nailed his shot out of the bunker
Sticks it to 11ft from the pin. Martin Laird was on in two as well but has just missed his birdie putt. Can Singh 2000 Masters winner Singh make his to get back to +6 for the tournament? The answer is no, so it is a straight par for both men in the opening group.
Vijay Singh and Martin Laird to get day two going, then
Singh has, unfortunately, found the fairway bunker with his drive off the first. He was +7 after round one with Laird +2.
Tee times for the first couple of hours: Leader Rose off at 2.36pm
13:00 V Singh (Fij), M Laird (Sco)
13:12 L Mize, J Walker, B Gay
13:24 C Ortiz (Mex), M Hughes (Can), B Wiesberger (Aut)
13:36 M Weir (Can), CT Pan (Tai), R MacIntyre (Sco)
13:48 J M Olazabal (Esp), M Wallace (Eng), L Griffin
14:00 V Perez (Fra), J Kokrak, M Leishman (Aus)
14:12 F Couples, F Molinari (Ita), (x) C Osborne
14:24 Z Johnson, K Na, G Woodland
14:36 S Lowry (Irl), J Rose (Eng), M Kuchar
14:48 B Horschel, T Hatton (Eng), R Palmer
15:06 P Mickelson, T Fleetwood (Eng), S Scheffler
Want to know all of them? No worries, click here.
Round one report: Brilliant Justin Rose leads by four as fellow big names struggle
Justin Rose had not played for five weeks because of a back injury and, instead of competitive golf, prepared by sitting in his trophy room at home, visualising how he would play Augusta National.
Yet even in his wildest fantasies, he would never have envisaged shooting a seven-under 65 to take a four-shot lead.
And Rose would surely have required industrial strength hallucinogenics to picture playing the last 11 holes in nine-under on a day when the Masters did not so much as bite back as gleefully devour so many big names.
Dustin Johnson a 74, Rory McIlroy a 76, Bryson DeChambeau a 76, Lee Westwood a 78. It verged on carnage. But Rose hit the treacherous fast-and-firm layout running and by the end was in full sprint, with one of the greatest stretches in British golf history.
Yes, it was only Thursday, but that closing three hours should always be recalled. The 40 year-old was two-over after seven holes and seemingly highly unlikely to trouble the clubhouse leaders – American Brian Harmon and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama. But then Rose emerged in full and outrageous bloom.
The 2013 US Open champion caught a break on the par-five eighth, when his approach bounced kindly off the bank on the left before coming to rest within 15 feet. Rose holed for an eagle and proceeded to soar.
His tee shot to four feet on the famous par-three 12th was class, his approach to kick-in distance on the 17th probably even better. Rose was in the zone, a zone nobody else came close to entering all day.
Alister MacKenzie’s creation munched huge chunks out of some of the game’s biggest names on a first day when a US Open broke out in Georgia. McIlroy’s worst opening to this major featured him hitting his father with an errant shot on the seventh. And golf says that Pa is your friend?!
The consolation for McIlroy was that he was not alone in his Masters mediocrity. Dustin Johnson, trying to become just the fourth reigning champion to defend the title successfully, double-bogeyed the last. “Obviously, that stings, but I’ll go to the range and hit a few balls,” Johnson said. “The conditions are definitely different from November.”
By James Corrigan, Golf Correspondent