Leaders struggle at rainy Masters
AUGUSTA, Georgia (AFP) –
Rain and difficult pin placements at famed Augusta National kept leaders from making an early charge in Friday’s second round of the 77th Masters while Tiger Woods waited for a late tee time.
After 45 players toured the 7,435-yard layout at par or better in the first round, day two turned into a workman’s effort of trying to hold onto position, with Spain’s Sergio Garcia falling out of his share of the overnight lead.
Australia’s Marc Leishman, the other first-round co-leader after an opening six-under par 66, prepared for an early afternoon start while rivals struggled with the conditions.
Garcia took bogeys at the par-4 third and par-3 fourth to stumble back beneath overcast skies.
American Matt Kuchar moved into second place after an opening 68 and a birdie at the par-5 second on Friday.
Trevor Immelman, the 2008 Masters champion from South Africa, joined Garcia in a share of third place at four-under.
Immelman birdied the par-5 second to reach five-under and then answered a bogey at the fifth with a birdie at the par-5 eighth before a bogey at the ninth.
American Dustin Johnson, who fired a 67 on Thursday, opened with a bogey and made another at the third to fall back, but a birdie at the fourth put him in the four-under pack, which also included countryman Rickie Fowler and England‘s David Lynn.
World number one Woods, a 14-time major winner seeking his first major title since the 2008 US Open and first Masters triumph since 2005, opened with a 70, the same score that has launched three of his four Masters triumphs.
Woods was set to tee off in Friday’s penultimate group alongside England’s Luke Donald and fellow American Scott Piercy.
China’s 14-year-old schoolboy sensation, Guan Tianlang, opened with a 73 to stand as the low amateur and the only one with a solid chance to make the cut.
Bogeys at the par-3 fourth and par-4 seventh on Friday dropped Guan to three-over for the tournament.
Guan became the youngest player in Masters history on Thursday but showed poise under pressure in an impressive debut round over the famed course and looks to be the only amateur in position to make the cut.
A new expanded cut adopted this year will see the top 50 and level plus anyone else within 10 strokes of the lead reach the weekend. It previously had been the low 44 and level plus anyone within 10 shots of the lead.