After two rounds in the Masters Tournament Bubba Watson is the new leader, as the former Masters Champ blazed into the lead with a four under par 68 on Friday at Augusta National. Watson added that score to his 69 on Thursday and has a three-shot lead over Australian John Senden as the tournament heads for the weekend.
Watson began the day one shot off the lead at three under par, and after nine holes was still at three under, with one birdie and one bogey to make the turn in 36. He got going on the back nine, though, making a string of five birdies in a row from 12 to 16 and going as low as eight under par on the Masters Tournament leaderboard. A short miss on a par putt on 18 gave him his second bogey of the tournament and left him at seven under par.
Senden put himself into contention with a second round score of 68 after an even par round on Thursday. He started out on Friday with two bogeys in the first four holes, then went six under the rest of the way, shooting 33 on the back nine to secure second place.
It looked for a while as though defending champion Adam Scott had shot himself out of the tournament. Scott started his day with three bogeys in his first five holes to go out in 39. His back nine was a different story. The Aussie birdied 12, 13 and 15 and got back to three under par by the end. He is now tied for third with 20-year old Jordan Spieth, 43-year old Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and Jonas Blixt of Sweden. If Scott can win the 2014 Masters Tournament, he would be only the fourth player to win the event in back-to-back years. It is a pretty exclusive club, as the others are Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus.
One of the story lines for Friday’s play was 54-year old 1992 Masters Tournament winner Fred Couples, who was three shots back after day one. After a birdie on 15, it looked like Couples would join the group at three under par, but a bogey on 17 pushed him back to two under. Still, he is within striking distance just five strokes in back of Watson. Also at two under are Jimmy Walker and Jim Furyk.
The cut line claimed many big-name victims on Friday at Augusta National, most notably Phil Mickelson. For the second straight day Mickelson carded a triple bogey, this time on number 12, a par-3 hole, where he went from sand trap to sand trap to sand trap before finally recording a score of six. Mickelson finished at five over and missed the cut by one shot. While talking to reporters after his round, he was asked if he was going to watch the final two rounds. Mickelson said it was a pretty good tournament this year so, yes, he would be watching. “It’ll be my punishment.” He said. Also missing the cut at five under were Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson and Luke Donald.
When play began Friday at the Masters Tournament Bill Haas was the leader by one shot over Bubba Watson. As they head for the weekend, Haas is nine strokes behind. It was a tough day for the first round leader, as he carded seven bogeys and a double bogey on his way to 78 on day two at Augusta National.
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Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky