So usually the world’s finest golfers are swept up within the magic of the Masters; this 12 months it’s the Masters counting on them to offer the magic.
Up to now, so good.
The event started on Thursday with file low scoring, and for some time, you may even be excused for questioning if this was actually the Masters.
There are not any roars, no dazzling colors, and Augusta Nationwide has performed mushy and forgiving.
Starting on cut up tees on the first and tenth holes to hurry up play due to early sunsets, and with half the gamers on the course early Friday morning to finish a weather-delayed first spherical, every little thing appeared fairly un-traditional, one thing the Masters is sort of massive on.
However as Friday went on, the magic ultimately returned to the towering pines and flowing tributaries of Rae’s Creek. It was as if the load of 1 final likelihood to win a serious on this most uncommon of years had set in among the many gamers.
“It doesn’t matter if we’re teeing off on 10, 12, rain delays, no matter,” Phil Mickelson stated after finishing his second spherical. “We get an opportunity to compete for a inexperienced jacket, and we’re all very appreciative of that.”
Fifty-year-old Mickelson is simply one of many recreation’s greats in rivalry heading to the weekend, having shot 69-70 to move into the third spherical at five-under par.
Mickelson is 4 photographs again of world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith, who share the 36-hole clubhouse lead with a nine-under par whole after Friday’s motion was halted as a consequence of darkness.
Tiger Woods has some work left to do in his second spherical, and can start Saturday at four-under via 10 holes. Bernhard Langer continues to amaze and, at three-under par, the 63 years previous will grow to be the oldest participant to make the lower on the Masters by 33 days over Tommy Aaron.
Forty-eight gamers will full their second spherical on Saturday because the event finishes catching up from Thursday’s practically three-hour climate delay.
The large-hitting Johnson, a perennial favorite on the Masters, awakened at 4 a.m. and performed 27 holes on Friday after solely making it via 9 holes of his first spherical on Thursday.
“I’m as a lot of a morning individual as anyone,” the laid-back Johnson stated after his second spherical. “I simply stand up when I’ve to stand up.”
Starting the day at three-under, Johnson got here out of the gate on hearth Friday, finishing his first spherical with 5 birdies on the again 9 to shoot a seven-under 65. Heading straight again out to the course for his second spherical he stored the momentum going, birdieing three of his first 4 holes and reaching 10-under par earlier than ending the day at nine-under.
“I like the place I’m at, I like my place,” Johnson stated. “Clearly I really feel like I’ll be someplace across the lead, in all probability not within the lead, however inside a couple of photographs, at the very least, and in place heading into the weekend.”
The place Friday evening’s leaders will stand heading into the ultimate 36 holes gained’t be decided till the remainder of the sector finishes the second spherical on Saturday morning.
Of gamers left on the course when play was stopped, Jon Rahm and Hideki Matsuyama have the very best likelihood to surpass the leaders. Each Rahm and Matsuyama are eight-under par via 12 and 15 holes respectively.
Different contenders compelled to finish their second rounds on Saturday embody Louis Oosthuizen (-7 via 12), C.T. Pan (-7 via 16), Paul Casey (-6 via 11), Patrick Reed (-6 via 11) and Xander Schauffele (-6 via 12).
The lower line can be but to be decided, and Nick Taylor is amongst gamers hoping it stays at stage par after the Canadian shot 72-72 in his Masters debut. The 32-year-old didn’t sound optimistic.
“Fairly unhealthy outcome, however I beloved being out right here, I attempted to absorb each second, so I’ll attempt to take some positives,” Taylor stated. “Any time you’re at Augusta Nationwide, it’s an amazing week.”
Taylor was the one Canadian to get via 36 holes earlier than play was stopped. Mike Weir (+1 via 9), Adam Hadwin (+2 via 13), and Corey Conners (-3 via 16) will end their second rounds Saturday morning.
Patrick Cantlay and 2019 PGA Tour rookie of the 12 months Sungjae Im are within the clubhouse at eight-under par via 36 holes.
Rory McIlroy surged again with a second spherical 66, after taking pictures 75 in his first spherical. He’ll head to the ultimate two rounds at three-under par.