US Masters

Bubba Watson was the big mover on Day Two of the US Masters at Augusta National

Johnny Watterson Fri, Apr 11
 
LIVE: US Masters

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  • This event has now ended
  • 16:02
    Hello folks. Stop working for a while and get up to golf speed. The Australian is leading the Masters. No not that one!
    Marc Leishman has birdied the first three holes to move from -2 to -5. Will it be another day of morning scoring and afternoon struggles. On that Rory is in the last group today. Buckle up.
    Here's a clip of Leishman's start today.
  • 16:02
  • 16:04
    Thomas Bjorn, who started out with a pair of birdies, handed both strokes back with bogeys at 4 and 5. But  ... birdies at 7 and 8 sees him back up to -1 for the tournament.
  • 16:06
  • 16:15
  • 16:15
    Gentle Ben might not be leading the Masters. He's won it before but sits at +11 this year. Here's a touch of the olds days when  Crenshaw was a contender.
  • 16:28
  • 16:29
  • 16:32
    Avril Burke Good to be back again on the Irish Times Blog today #Masters
  • 16:32
    Darren Cotter Avril will you go out with me if I win the Irish times fantasy golf? I'll share the winnings with you.
  • 16:33
  • 16:36
    After three birdies in an otherwise  flawless round yesterday Bubba is cranking out the pars over the opening six holes in day 2. He's still -3.
  • 16:41
    Well all of you with the Leishman betting slips ...it's time to know the roller coaster ride has just begun. Birdie, birdie, birdie, bogey, bogey. Well, he was the wrong Aussie anyway. The hot Scott has yet to start.
  • 16:45
    PS: Westwood was the best dressed player yesterday. Crazy day glo yellow. The fella's mad Ted.
  • 16:46
  • 16:50
  • 16:54
    But wait until they take the long putter off Scott. The U.S. Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club said   they are not banning the belly putter or the longer "broom-handle" putters  - only regulating the way they are used. The proposed rule would prohibit golfers at all levels from anchoring a club against their bodies while making a stroke - Sorry Adam but you're still hot.
  • 16:59
    Leishman's first par of the day - on the 6th!! He's 3 under.
  • 17:01
  • 17:08
    Whasaaa. Bubba on the 7th...taking a share of the lead...Crowd pleaser always.
  • 17:08
  • 17:11
    Maths aren't a strong point but 18 plus seven is 25 and that's how long Bubba has gone without making a bogey at this year's Masters. Tied at -4 with Haas. Pity about the shirt.
  • 17:11
  • 17:14
    Well, it seems he's no one-round wonder.  Not so far anyway. Blixt birdies holes 2 and 3 to get to -4 for a share of the lead. Swedish cool.
  • 17:21
    Oosthuizen taps his eagle putt at 13 down hill. It looks  like it's  going to drop from the second it leaves his putter. EAGLE. That takes him to -4, and a share of the lead with Bubba and Bill Haas. Oosthuizen's playing partner Kuchar is okay....  -1 for the tournament
  • 17:29
  • 17:34
    G-Mac and Wee-Mac haven't started. Wee-Mac is in the  last group out. McDowell goes in around 20 minutes with Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker.
  • 17:35
  • 17:45

    Eschewing the Masters penchant for tradition someone has just asked when they are going to ban Ben Crenshaw from playing. Why?   Is it because of the triple bogey and double bogey in the first four holes to bring him to 16 over par?

    He's not the worst... Michael McCoy, American, step forward (+17)

  • 17:47
    Koooooch in the water at 15. As the kids these days put it...WTF Kooooch.
  • 17:50
    Bubba  drops his first shot of the 78th Masters. A bogey-free 69 yesterday, and he nearly reached the turn without tripping. But he's dropped a shot at 9, and slips out of the lead, back to -3.
  • 17:55
    Someone quick tell me I'm wrong (again). But  Wee- Mac is beginning to sound like G-Mac. A genetically modified sound  previously unknown  to man kind. At the moment it's just a word here and there but....Slippery Slope.
  • 17:55
  • 17:59
    Bjorn Again! Birdies on 14, 15 and 16. Now -3.
  • 18:01
  • 18:04

    Miguel Angel Jimenez is warming up now. Folks that should be on live television.
  • 18:05
    Just can't see if the glass in his hand is Rioja or Crianza. The cigar is definitely Cuban.
  • 18:09
  • 18:10
    Any man over the age of 50-years-old really should playe golf  'Tucked in.' Pull those tight shirts out boys. It's okay Adam you can do it. You too Rory and Dustin....but think of the kids and the animals.
  • 18:11
    Bubba sticks his ball to within four feet on the 12th. A share of the lead stab is coming up...
  • 18:16
    Bubba putting for a share of the lead. He likes it. The crowd likes it. Easy.  He's  -4.
  • 18:20
  • 18:25
    Darren Clarke is in the club house. Scored 74 today and is +4 with Lyle and Olazabal.  Hopefully will  be safe with projected cut at +6 for now.
  • 18:27
    The spin ball wizzard Bjorn is back in the clubhouse with a 68 and -3. He's got his feet up and he's in contention. Rock on Tommy.
  • 18:31
    Having spent my anticipated winnings on Leishman on drink, I must be  now hopelessly  drunk. Around an hour and a half ago, the Aussie was -5 after 4 holes.  With my beer goggles on he's  now plus 3 after 11 holes. Bogey wonderland.
  • 18:33
  • 18:37
    Bubba again. Eagle this time? No but a birdie on 13. He leads on his own  on -5. Jerky movements all the way to the next tee.
  • 18:37
  • 18:40
    Leaderboard update: Bubba at -5, K Stadler at -4, Bjorn, Blixt, Walker, Choi, Haas and Scott at -3.
  • 18:41
  • 18:43
    The greatest golfer in the world -he  thinks so himself - has birdied two of the first three holes. Ian Poulter needs a score in the 60s, though, after his opening 76 #loveurshoes
  • 18:52
    Bubba's become a run away train. Another birdie on the 14. That's three in a row folks and he's putting day light between himself and the field. -6
  • 18:54
  • 18:55
  • 18:57
    McDowell starts double bogey, par, par. He's two over after three holes.
  • 19:00

    18:59 Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, and Rory McIlroy (NI) begin their second round. They're the last out.
  • 19:05

    Here comes Phil's double-bogey  effort from the fringe ... Leaves it short. Triple-bogey 6. Drops to +7 after 12 holes. What's that smell of burning betting slips.
  • 19:12

    8 birdie Rockin' Tommy Bjorn: "I hit a lot of great shots and got myself in great positions. I felt my golf was reallly solid, a few bogeys but Augusta National is always going to throw a few of those at you."

    "Arguably he's played the best golf of his life over the last six months," Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley on Bjorn.

  • 19:14
    Birdie at 15 and Bubba is -7, three shots ahead of the field. That will affect players on the edge of the cut.
  • 19:14
  • 19:15
  • 19:18
    Being an acknowleged (self) expert on the game of golf, Rory needs to sharpen up those short putts. There it's been said.
  • 19:19
  • 19:25

    Like this comment from Golf.com

    From Miss Priss!    


    "Professional golfers are independent contractors. Some are firing themselves today."

  • 19:29
  • 19:33
    Rory pars the first hole. Still -1. Steady as she goes. Seven short of Bubba.
  • 19:40
  • 19:45

    Rory misses a short putt from above the hole on the second and drops back a shot. Par 5 wasted! He's 8 shots behind Bubba.

    McDowell has moved from +2 to +3 after six holes.

  • 19:51
  • 19:57
    Bubba isn't the only man ripping up the course. The 2003 champion Mike Weir is out in 32 blows, having picked up shots at 2, 6, 8 and 9. The Canadian shot a one-over 73 yesterday. He's blown his cover now. He's -3 overall, and tied for third with only Bubba and Bill Haas better off.
  • 20:03
    I'm being called in for tea. ,,Handing over now to my colleague Carl O'Malley for an expert eye over the next hour or so.
  • 20:07

    Good evening folks, it's Carl O'Malley here standing in for Johnny, who is off for a well-deserved custard cream or two.  

    First things first, Bubba Watson, after five consecutive birdies from the 12th in a fantastic round, has bogeyed the last to drop back to seven under. Still three shots ahead of the field.  

  • 20:08
  • 20:09
    Quite the character, is Bubba. Amazing the way some of these pro sportsmen actually have personalities, isn't it? He's just like real people.  
  • 20:09
  • 20:12
    The Masters leaderboard after Bubba Watson carded his 68 to lead by three.  
    The Masters leaderboard after Bubba Watson carded his 68 to lead by three.  
  • 20:18

    Let's look at the rounds of the day, so far. Aside from Bubba, good ol' Thomas Bjorn is one of the big movers of the day, a four under par 68 moving him to a three under total.  

    A little further back, is Lucas Glover, who carded a 68 to move to level par after an opening 75. Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano did the same and is now alongside the American.


    Stephen Gallacher was just asked on Sky if he can win it. "Why not" was his succint response after a level par 72 left him one under.  


    That's the spirit!!



  • 20:19

    Rory is in the bushes after "he tried to play a high cut and double crossed in and pulled it", according to Butch Harmon.  

    He's up against the fence on the fourth and  deciding what it is he should do. We'll come back to that.

  • 20:21
    Rory's ball, in fact, scooted past Adam Scott on the 5th tee box. This is a big hole for the Northern Irishman. It could make or break his weekend.
  • 20:23
    A birdie at eight has seen Jimmy Walker move to four under.
  • 20:24
    Rory is back on the 4th tee, playing his third, I think, but he's landed it in the bunker in front of the green. He won't like that. He did actually look like he liked it because it was on line but just dropped short.
  • 20:26
    Miguel Angel Jimenez, 'The Man' in other words, has just birdied the seventh to move back to level par.
  • 20:29

    McIlroy out of the bunker with his fourth, a good shot that crept back towards the hole and left him with an eight-footer, maybe (always looks closer on d'telly), for a five.  


    2 dropped here at least, so that would leave him one over.

  • 20:31
    Mike Weir saves par at the 11th to remain three under for the day and two under for the tournament. Big save after a bogey at 10.
  • 20:32
    Ok, Rory has double-bogeyed the 4th after taking the smart option and heading back to the tee box. Costly hole but right decision to start again. Two over for the day and one over for the tournament.
  • 20:35

    Four over the projected cut at the moment, meaning Darren Clarke (+4) will make the weekend, as things stand.


    McDowell not far ahead of him on three over after playing the front nine in 39

  • 20:37
    Mickelson may make that cut but it looks more liklely that he'll miss it, which would be a disaster for those of us who like his weekend bursts from the bowels of the pack.  
  • 20:38
    He's in with a chance, after a bogey at the last  and a 74  left him five over
  • 20:40

    Bubba Watson playing it cool: "I just went one shot at a time, keepin' my head down ... don't get too energised and stay patient"


    "I'm not trying to worry about score, I'm just trying to worry about hitting greend because if you are hitting greens that means the first shot is good as well."


    2012 champion says it's "a lot easier" without the focus on him as defending champion.

  • 20:41
  • 20:42

    I have money on Patrick Reed, so that's #notgood at all, at all.  

    Also have a few clams on KJ Choi, who is somewhat better, one over for the day but still one under for the tournament through eight today.

  • 20:42
  • 20:47
    A birdie! for the Mac-attack at five, means he has bounced back quickly from his double-bogey at 4 nad is back to level par.
  • 20:47
    A few years ago Rory might have tried to hack that one out at four but it was the right decision to go back to the tee box.
  • 20:49

    He's seven behind, as is Lee Westwood.  

    Rory finds the back edge of the green at six. He'll do well to get down in two but a par is on the cards there.

  • 20:49
    Westwood, as it happens, just birdied the last for a 71 and evens.
  • 20:52

    Justin Rose birdied the last too, to card a 70 and move to two over, nine behind Watson.  



    "I don't see many players being three under par before the end of the day ... you've sometimes got to take the leader out of it."


    His reasoning being, it seems, that Bubba will slip up at some stage.  




  • 20:55
    A double-bogey for Jimmy Walker sees him drop back to two under, defending champion  Adam Scott is pars the 7th to remain level par, three over for the day.  
  • 20:56
  • 20:56

    Right, that's me, Johnny's back in the ring, refreshed and rejuvenated.


    Slán  

  • 20:59
    Ian Poulter - who  was smokin'  with birdies at 1, 3 and 5, before dropping shots at 9 and 10 - clips his tee shot to ten feet. He's +3 and is inside the cut but  needs a decent run home.
  • 21:02
    McDowell is +4 thru 10, the same as Darren Clarke when he finished. Rory is killing himself and his supporters with mediocrity and is uninspiringly level par thru six.
  • 21:06
    Couples on 12 like the Human Torch and  Superman  defies gravity. His approach stops on the green's almost vertical slope when it had no reason to stay out of the water.
  • 21:07
  • 21:11
    There are a number of players jockeying for second behind Bubba. Aussie John Senden's 3 birdies on the back nine has him there now at -4.
  • 21:15
    Rory misses a short putt for birdie. Achilles heel? Well this week anyway. He's level par.
  • 21:20
    Rory has knocked his drive into the   crowd..., sorry patrons...on the 8th fairway. He needs to swing it a mere 40 yards to hit the green and that's easy to do....Usually when you're trying to hit it straight.
  • 21:24
  • 21:28
  • 21:30
    Two times Masters winner Ben Crenshaw ends on...lets just say low 20s. He's only here for the champion's dinner.
  • 21:30
  • 21:37
    Haas is letting it slide. He finds the bunker to the right of the 10th  green, and it's almost impossible to splash out without the ball rolling back down to the front. He'll be left with a long par putt.   He can't do it  and drops back to -2.
  • 21:39
  • 21:44

    Jonas Blixt:"The greens are really, really fast. Its a grind out there. You've got to use your imagination to get close to the pins."

    At -3  his imagination  seems to have worked well.

  • 21:48
  • 21:51
    Jamie Donaldson is making a move. He's three under thru 10 holes including a birdie on 9.
  • 21:53
    Senden ends his round on a sparkling -4. If things stay that way he could end up playing with Bubba tomorrow in round 3.
  • 22:01
    Rory's iron approach goes throgh the gren at 10. He looks at his caddie. 'It's down in the bushes," says JP. Well, almost it's on the pine needles with a difficult up and down ahead.
  • 22:02
    Rory hits it fat and his ball does not make the green, Not good and he'll drop at least one shot.
  • 22:05
  • 22:10
    Senden: "I was patient. I was accepting where the ball was going. It all started with Greg Norman when we were kids. That inspired a lot of juniors and Adam Scot opening the door last year also inspired us."
  • 22:12
    Another missed short putt for a six leaves Rory hurting. That's his third or fourth missed from a distance  where he would expect it to drop. He's going backwards and now +2. Clarke could be the best of the Irish if this continues.
  • 22:18
  • 22:26
    There are just places you can't hit it on this course says  commentator Butch Harmon. Rory has found one of those places with an awkward chip over the corner of a bunker having missed the green on the  11th.
  • 22:33
  • 22:35
    McIlroy just makes it over the front bunker at the 12th butthe ball  bumps over to stall at around 8 feet. It's another from the distance he doesn't like but badly needs a break.
  • 22:39
    Another poor putt from McIlroy. Frustrated beyond belief. Bogey. Hopefully not the middle of a total meltdown with six holes to play.
  • 22:40
  • 22:47
    52 players now at +4 or better,
  • 22:50
    Anger launching a massive drinve down the 13th from McIlroy. He's in eagle territory. He needs it and he knows it.
  • 22:53
  • 22:58
    Adam Scott's back to back birdies on 12 and 13 hauls him back into the right side of the field. At -2 there is now a smile on his face,
  • 23:00
    A loud moaning 'Noooo'. It's McIlroy who has missed his approach after a huge drive. The ball seems to have landed on a sprinkler head and taken a terrific bounce over the 13th green and into the shrubs. Making the cut is now an issue for one of the pre tournament favourites.
  • 23:02
    Couples finishes on -2 and he's in the top five after the second roound. Fist pump for the 50-year-old.
  • 23:03
  • 23:07
    Another calamity, this time a combination of distance and accuracy  with his 8 iron and the putting. Oh the putting. His is an x-rated card. Three bogeys, two doubles and now +4. The weekend is at risk.
  • 23:11
     "I hit a lot of great shots but walked off diappointed, Three putted nine from 10 feet...three three putts. Apart from that there were no other mistakes. I have to be patient The scoores are coming." - Poulter at +2 and here for the weekend.
  • 23:12
  • 23:15
    Projected cut is still +4.
  • 23:16
  • 23:19
  • 23:22

    Fred Couples (-2): "I played really well today. How I do it? I say it every year, you have a feel for a golf course. As you get older its not a hinderence. You get to know how to play this golf course and I know it very well.


    Like I say it's a really hard course. I come here to play well My goal is to start at number one and hit a good drive and go from there."

  • 23:25

    Jimmy Walker: "I've kept it on the faiway which was key. I've been driving pretty well all week."

    He's in Augusta for the first time and sits on 2 under par.

  • 23:33
    Adam Scott has recovered from his outward 39. A down hill birdie putt on the 15th puts him right back onto the first page at -3 with three holes to play.
  • 23:36
     It’s possible that the  players at +5 could still be here this weekend. The top 50 rule applies, and if two more players still out on the course slip to +5, they’ll all be in. It all appears to depend on Miguel Angel Jimenez, Thorbjorn Olesen at +3 – and Rory McIlroy at +4.
  • 23:39
    20-year-old Jordan Speith, in McIUlroy's group, has risen to-3. Rory misses another short putt on 15 - he just can't buy one today -  luckily it's for par and he stays at +4.
  • 23:41
  • 23:48
  • 23:51
    Rory lips it at 16, while Scott's wedge lands to 10 feet on the 17th. Patrick Reed, 23-years-old and self proclaimed top five player in the world bogeys 16 and will probably go home. He will have learned - humility if nothing else.
  • 23:58
  • 00:04
    Donald, Garcia, Mickhelson, Els, Simpson,,,big names  all on five over par and not here for the weekend.
  • 00:05
  • 00:09
    Rory misses another short putt. Is it five? Is it six today? The hand comes up to his mouth. He's +4 with a hole to play. Squeaky bum time.
  • 00:09
  • 00:11
    Tough break for the 19-year-old from Sheffield. He misses the putt and slips out of the competiton.
  • 00:13
  • 00:14
  • 00:19
    Rory hits 128 yards to the 18th green and  leaves himself  a downhill racer of a putt as the dew holds up his ball. What could go wrong today has gone wrong. The next two shots for him will tell if it has been calamitous or not.
  • 00:19
    Two shots good, three shots bad for Rory.
  • 00:24

    McIroy  leaves  his ball  at a distance that will bring huge pressure on. He's missed these already today. Miss  it and he  goes home.  No probs this time.  It's been a tough day, Hopefully for tomorrow he  will have  left all the rubbish in the first two rounds.

    For part two of the weekend see you all tomorrow with Clarke and McIlroy the Irish interest and McDowell going home. Good night.