Couples and Dufner lead the way, Britain’s hopes lie with Westwood and McIlroy whilst Woods struggles
American Fred Couples and Jason Dufner head the masters leaderboard after day two at Augusta after another day of thrills and spills.
Couples hit the best round of the day with a fine 67, five under par, which saw the 1992 Masters champion rise up through the table, whilst Dufner scored a round of two under despite a double bogey on the fourth to tie the lead with his fellow countryman.
Overnight leader, Lee Westwood, shot confidently once again, but will be disappointed with the double bogey he scored on the last to record a one over, but is still four under for the championship.
The Englishman recorded 10 straight pars at the start of his round, and despite bogeying the 11th, he birdied holes 12 and 15 before his disaster on the final hole.
The 38-year-old holds joint third with Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, and a resurgent Rory McIlroy, who scored a 69 to put himself in prime position to make a surge towards the leaders.
McIlroy may be quietly confident going into the weekend with his game coming together at the right time, and playing the golf that saw him become world number one for two weeks. And like McIlroy, another player finding his feet is Phil Mickelson. The three-time masters’ champion overturned his 2 over 74 with a second round score of 68 to take himself to two under overall.
However with the real Phil starting to play and Rory soaring, another pre-tournament favourite, Tiger Woods, had a nightmare of a round, finally scoring a three over 75. Woods’ all-round game fell completely apart during his round, despite birdying two of the first three holes. But from then on, his driving, chipping and putting lost all kinds of rhythm, which led to evident frustration, leading to the 36 year old swearing live on television.
Though the American wasn’t the only big player to struggle. Luke Donald, after his 75 on the first day, continued to shoot over par, despite a brief recovery on the back nine, to finish on one over on the day, but four over overall.
However with Couples and Dufner topping the standings at five under, it meant the cut was made at five over, leaving notable names such as KJ Choi, Alvaro Quiros and Tom Watson all missing out on the action continuing in the next two days.
Jason Day joins those unfortunate not to make the cut, after he withdrew through injury. The Australian, who finished joint second in last year’s tournament limped away with a clear leg injury and he’ll be hoping he can recover quickly to get back to playing once again.
However the weekend promises a lot, with a lot of big players all in positions to make a surge up the table, and whilst some will fall away, others will rise to the occasion, and the winner of the green jacket is nicely unpredictable at the halfway stage.