The top 3 in the world lead The Masters halfway, with Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm & Justin Thomas tied at 9-under with Abraham Ancer & Cameron Smith
Top 3 In The World Lead The Masters At Halfway
I guess it’s rare that a round at The Masters doesn’t prove fascinating.
But the conclusion of round two on Saturday morning served up a host of particularly fascinating stories and sub-plots.
Not so much at the top end of the leaderboard but especially around the cut mark.
Indeed, the top end changed little from where things stood on Friday night.
Going into the weekend, we have the mouthwatering prospect of World Nos 1, 2 and 3 – Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas – sharing the lead at 9-under along with Masters debutant, Abraham Ancer, and Aussie, Cameron Smith.
Mind you, early in the second round it looked like World No.1 Johnson was going to separate himself from the pack.
A trio of birdies around Amen Corner at the start of his second round saw him hit 10-under after 22 holes.
But bogeys at 14 and 15 stalled his progress and a run of 11 consecutive pars before a closing birdie saw him ultimately sign for a 2-under 70.
The chasing pack
Behind them, among the five men one back on 8-under are 2018 champion Patrick Reed and a trio of Asian players in Korea’s Sungjae Im, Chinese Taipei’s C.T.Pan and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
Could Asia finally claim its first Masters champion?
Then we have a trio of England’s finest sharing 11th place on 7-under – Danny Willett (minus his driver for round two!), Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose.
Only Fleetwood remains Majorless, but he’s come close twice in the US Open and then last year at Portrush. Could this be his time?
Defending champion Tiger Woods had a quiet but steady 71 to end up T17th at 5-under. He was rarely in trouble and within a hair’s breadth of being two better.
His bunker shot on the 2nd and a lovely little chip from behind 18 both almost found the hole.
Then there’s Rory – looking for all the world like he’d be on the midnight train from Georgia after his lacklustre opening round.
He somehow found the missing ingredient in the 20 minutes between round one and round two to shoot a bogey-free 66.
He now finds himself just six off the halfway lead rather than heading for home. Same again today and he could be right back in it.
Elsewhere, Bernhard Langer became the oldest man to make the cut at Augusta at 63 years of age. He will start round three on the same mark as Rory at 3-under.
But much of the focus of attention towards the end of round two was on whether the cut would fall at even or 1-under.
Bryson makes it through
A hugely erratic Bryson DeChambeau was among those waiting nervously after hitting a poor shot into 18 and making bogey to slip back to even.
Bryson’s rollercoaster round of 74 included just four pars and a triple bogey on Augusta’s shortest par-4, when his first tee shot on the 3rd couldn’t be found.
Among others making it on the mark were England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and five Major champions – Collin Morikawa, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Charl Schwartzel and Jordan Spieth.
Spieth has had his troubles of late, but bravely holed a 15-footer to save par on 18 and make the final two rounds.
Among those making it through with an extra shot to spare were 2003 champion, Mike Weir, now a senior. It was just his second Masters cut made in the last ten years.
Ogletree enters the final 36 holes two behind Augenstein who he beat in last year’s US Amateur final.
But with the top 3 in the world leading the Masters halfway, it promises to be an enthralling Saturday and Sunday.
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