Patrick Reed, who played college golf at Augusta State University, looked in command on a familiar course that caused problems for several other contenders, including Jordan Spieth, who lost his two-stroke advantage after Thursday’s round with a double bogey right on the first hole. Reed, on the other hand, finished with nine birdies to shoot 66, the low round of the day, for a two-shot lead over the Australian Marc Leishman (-7) heading into the weekend.
Spieth recovered on the back nine to finish at four-under par, tied for fourth with Rory McIlroy, who shot 71. Henrik Stenson, who has never finished in the top 10 at the Masters, is alone in third place at five-under par, while the P.G.A. Tournament champion Justin Thomas shot a 67 to move into a tie with Dustin Johnson for sixth place at three-under.
Tiger Woods (+4) struggled again Friday, as did Phil Mickelson, who shot 79. But both did enough to make the cut at five-over par.
Woods was fighting it all afternoon as he never seemed to find a rhythm. He hit into bushes on the fifth and had to take a drop, which resulted in a double bogey. He did manage to birdie both of the par 5s on the back nine, something he was unable to do Thursday, but a bogey on 16 dropped him back to four-over for the week.
Conditions were tougher than on Thursday, with a stronger wind, and Woods was battling all afternoon. He never seemed to find a rhythm. Woods’s front nine was still not as bad as Spieth’s. The Day 1 leader shot 6s on the first two holes, then bogeyed the seventh to card a 40 before making the turn. But he was able to right himself on the back nine, birdying the par 5s, and is hardly out of it, especially with an inclement forecast for Saturday.
But it will take a lot to overtake Reed, the confident Texan who played nearly flawlessly on Friday. After finishing tied for second at the P.G.A. Tournament last year, the five-time winner on tour was sensational with his short game and took advantage on the par 5s, birdying all eight of them through the first two rounds, something no other player had done.
Augusta had not been good to Reed before. He has never finished better than 22nd at the Masters in four previous tries. But this year, he looks right at home.
|1||Patrick ReedUnited States||-6||18||-9|
|4T||Rory McIlroyNorthern Ireland||-1||18||-4|
|4T||Jordan SpiethUnited States||2||18||-4|
|6T||Dustin JohnsonUnited States||E||18||-3|
|6T||Justin ThomasUnited States||-5||18||-3|
|8T||Tony FinauUnited States||E||18||-2|
|8T||Rickie FowlerUnited States||0||18||-2|
|8T||Charley HoffmanUnited States||E||18||-2|
Patrick Reed Has 2-Stroke Lead After Day 2
His birdie streak ended, but Patrick Reed still managed the low round of the day, a 66 that takes him into the weekend with a 2-stroke lead over Marc Leishman at -9. It was an impressive day for Reed, who missed the cut at the Masters last year when he was nine-over par. This year has been the mirror opposite. Three times on Friday he birdied three holes in a row. His putting has been spectacular. We’ll see if he can keep it up with rain in the forecast tomorrow.
No. 18: Tiger Just Misses Birdie to Close Day 2
It had to end this way, of course. Tiger Woods needed an inch here, or a foot there, all day during Round 2, but Augusta wouldn’t oblige. And so it went on the 18th hole, when Tiger needed a birdie to put more breathing room between his score and the cut line. It wasn’t to be. His birdie shot, yep, just missed, and he settled for par to finish at +4.
It will be enough to enable him to make the cut, barely, which is anticipated at +5. He missed some putts and seemed to have issues with his distance control throughout the round. He did birdie both par-5s on the back nine, which was an improvement from yesterday, when he did not make a single birdie on any of the par-5s. Woods came in with a lot of hype, after strong showings at the Valspar Championship and Bay Hill. But it was his first time playing at Augusta since 2015 and clearly there is still some rust to shake off. That being said, he did enough to give himself a chance to compete this weekend.
Reed Buries Yet Another Birdie
Patrick Reed is the first to double digits under par with another birdie — this time it’s his third in a row — on the par-5 15th. He is the only player to birdie all four of the par-5s at Augusta two days in a row. That’s a good formula for success at the Masters, which is partly why he holds a three-shot lead.
No. 17: So Close to Birdie
Tiger wanted this one. His birdie shot just missed, and his entire body expressed disappointment. Bent head. Bent knees. Slumped back. After making par, Tiger remains at +4.
Tiger has made the cut in four of his six events this season.
No. 16: … And Tiger Gives a Shot Back
Tiger’s stay at +3 was shortlived after he bogeyed the par-3 16. He drops back to +4. The final two holes — both pars for him on Day 1 — will be stressful for anyone planning to spend the weekend watching Tiger play golf. The projected cut line is +5.
Reed Comes Back With Another Birdie
Reed responds with a wedge shot from 129 yards within three feet for a tap-in birdie — his second in a row — to take him to -9 after 14 holes and six-under for his round. He has a 2-stroke advantage over Leishman, who just missed a flat birdie try on 16.
Leishman Closes in on Reed With an Eagle
Leishman answers with an eagle on the par-5 15th. His second shot from 224 yards, carrying the water, may be the shot of the day as it rolled to within six feet of the cup. He tapped in the putt and is now just one stroke behind Reed at -7.
No. 15: Woods Gets Second Birdie of the Day
Tiger birdied the final par 5 of the day after an impressive approach shot, bringing him to three-over par. The two holes Tiger has birdied today — 13 and 15 — were pars for him on Day 1.
Reed Increases His Lead
Reed’s drive on the par-5 13th veered way out to the right and deep into the pinestraw amongst the trees. He recovered with a nice easy 100-yard shot that clipped a branch but still landed safely in the fairway. Needing a great pitch onto the green, he was left with a tricky 14-foot downhill putt that he buried to take a three-shot lead at -8.
No. 14: Long Approach Leads to Par for Tiger Woods
After a great drive on the 14th hole, Tiger Woods hit his approach long (again). A 30-foot downhill putt for birdie is off by a couple inches, leaving a tap-in for par. Woods remains at +4.
No. 13: Tiger Woods Makes His First Birdie of the Day
After a solid drive into the first cut on the right side, Tiger Woods put himself on the green in two on the par-5 13th hole. He two-putts for a birdie … and a smile. It’s his first birdie of the round and he’s now back at +4. Woods’s game picked up after No. 13 yesterday so it’ll be interesting to see if he builds any momentum.
Marc Leishman Trails Patrick Reed by One Stroke
Marc Leishman, playing with Tiger Woods on No. 13, cut into Patrick Reed’s lead with a solid birdie. Leishman’s now -4 for the day tied with Reed, John Rahm and Dustin Johnson for lowest round.
No. 12: A Familiar Feeling for Tiger Woods
Just like he did on Thursday, Tiger Woods dropped his tee shot into the pond on the 12th hole Friday. Same fade, same result. After taking a bogey, Woods is now at +5, which puts him right on the current cut line. He’ll need a birdie or two to make sure he has a tee time on Saturday.
No. 11: Tiger Starts Amen Corner on a Positive Note
Tiger Woods manages another par on the front side of Amen Corner. He hit a terrible tee shot, but scrambled again with an incredible third shot, which put him about 5-feet from the pin. He’s still at +4 heading into No. 12.
Patrick Reed Extends His Lead to Two Strokes
Patrick Reed blasted a 245-yard second shot onto the green at the par-5 eighth hole, leaving him with an eagle putt. He missed that but tapped in for another birdie, his second in a row and fifth of the round so far. Now at -7 and two strokes ahead of Leishman and Hoffman as he starts to make the turn.
Dustin Johnson Finishes With a Birdie
Dustin Johnson finishes his second round with a birdie at 18 to post a 68, tied with Jon Rahm for the lowest score for any golfer so far today. Conditions (wind, firmer greens) have made the afternoon more difficult than yesterday. But Johnson, who missed the Masters last year, is now in a tie for seventh at -3.
No. 10: Tiger Starting to Look More Confident
After putting together a good drive and a decent approach (finally), Tiger Woods was looking at a 25-foot putt with a huge break for birdie. He misread it a little and settled for par. But his posture has changed considerably after a tough start. He’s headed to Amen Corner, where he struggled yesterday, so we’ll see if he can stay positive.
Jordan Spieth Finishes a Difficult Day
After starting the day with a two-stroke lead, Jordan Spieth ended it two strokes behind Patrick Reed at -4. But it was not a total disaster for the 2015 Masters champ. After shooting 40 on the front, including a double bogey right out of the gate, Spieth went two-under on the back nine. He had a birdie look at 18, a hole he bogeyed yesterday, but wound up with a par. All told, it was a 74 for Spieth, who is still very much right in the mix.
Patrick Reed Is Dialed In; Leads by One Stroke
Patrick Reed has the lead alone again at -6. He birdied the first three holes, then dropped a shot after missing a two-foot putt on the par-3 fourth. But he got it back with a 13-foot birdie putt on No. 7. He hasn’t had a putt of more than 16 feet today. Just amazing accuracy with his irons.