US Masters: Day Two

Rory McIlroy is lurking ominously after a good second round while Shane Lowry sits on the cut mark

John O'Sullivan, Johnny Watterson Sat, Apr 8
 
LIVE: US Masters: Day Two

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  • 12:50

    Hello and welcome to the Irish Times Golf Blog. John O'Sullivan at your service for Day Two of the US Masters at Augusta National. I'll be taking you through until tea-time tonight when a fully hydrated Johnny Watterson will take over for the late shift.



  • 12:53

    Don't mess with the Hoff, could well have been the headlines following yesterday's opening round at a blustery Augusta, where 35-mile-an-hour gusts made scoring very difficult for the great and the good.  


    Unless your name was Charley Hoffman. His seven under par 65, was a stunning effort. He leads the field by four shots from William McGirt, who incidentally is in the first pairing to tee off in about seven minutes.  

  • 12:56
    From a parochial perspective, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, are both well placed after opening with level par, 72s, and will be looking to move up the leaderboard from their current position of tied 12th. They tee off at 3.12pm (Lowry), Irish time and 3.34pm (McIlroy).  
  • 12:57

    Here is a full list of today's second round tee times.  

     

    Second round

    1pm Rod Pampling (Aus), William McGirt

    1.11pm Mark O’Meara, Hudson Swafford, Roberto Castro

    1.22pm Ian Woosnam (Wal), James Hahn, Brad Dalke (a)

    1.33pm Ross Fisher (Eng), Pat Perez, Byeong-Hun An (Kor)

    1.44pm Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa), Ryan Moore, Webb Simpson

    1.55pm Ernie Els (Rsa), Jason Dufner, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut)

    2.06pm Danny Willett (Eng), Matt Kuchar, Curtis Luck (a) (Aus)

    2.17pm Vijay Singh (Fij), Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Toto Gana (a) (Chi)

    2.28pm Angel Cabrera (Arg), Henrik Stenson (Swe), Tyrrell Hatton (Eng)

    2.39pm Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Steve Stricker, Mackenzie Hughes (Can)

    3.01pm Charley Hoffman, Chris Wood (Eng), Yuta Ikeda (Jpn)

    3.12pm Sergio Garcia (Spa), Lee Westwood (Eng), Shane Lowry (Irl)

    3.23pm Bernhard Langer (Ger), Alex Noren (Swe), Patrick Reed

    3.34pm Rory McIlroy (Irl), Hideto Tanihara (Jpn), Jon Rahm (Spa)

    3.45pm Marc Leishman (Aus), Bill Haas, Justin Thomas

    3.56pm Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker

    4.07pm Daniel Summerhays, Russell Henley

    4.18pm Trevor Immelman (Rsa), Jhonattan Vegas (Ven), Brendan Steele

    4.29pm Mike Weir (Can), Scott Piercy, Billy Hurley III

    4.40pm Larry Mize, Brian Stuard, Stewart Hagestad (a)

    4.51pm Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Jim Furyk, Kevin Chappell

    5.13pm Sandy Lyle (Sco), Sean O’Hair, Scott Gregory (a) (Eng)

    5.24pm Zach Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Adam Hadwin (Can)

    5.35pm Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Gary Woodland, J.B. Holmes

    5.46pm Adam Scott (Aus), Andrew Sullivan (Eng), Kevin Kisner

    5.57pm Francesco Molinari (Ita), Daniel Berger, Thomas Pieters (Bel)

    6.08pm Fred Couples, Paul Casey (Eng), Kevin Na

    6.19pm Russell Knox (Sco), Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn)

    6.30pm Branden Grace (Rsa), Brooks Koepka, Jeung-Hun Wang (Kor)

    6.41pm Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer (Ger), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng)

    6.52pm Phil Mickelson, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa), Si Woo Kim (Kor)

    7.03pm Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose (Eng), Jason Day (Aus)

  • 12:59
    Okay, we know there are those of you out there who are fond of your pin positions, so here they are for today's second round.  
  • 12:59
  • 13:02
    So what's the weather like I hear to you ask? Well the official line is that it will be "Partly cloudy  with a high of 65 and a low of 44, with winds of 22 mph coming from the west north west. Cloudy with sunshine later and just a 38 per cent chance of rain.  
  • 13:02
  • 13:03
    STAT ATTACK: Did you know that no one in the field averaged more than 287 yards off the tee yesterday. I bet you didn't.  
  • 13:05
  • 13:11

    Charley Hoffman told a story after his round yesterday about how an impromptu putting lesson from his caddie at the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational has made a huge difference to his confidence on the greens.

     

    "At Bay Hill, something clicked," Hoffman said. "I thank my caddie Brett Waldman for pointing out my alignment wasn't good. And then once I got that on track, I started to believe that my alignment was good and I was able to see the putts start going in the hole and started visualising good things instead of bad."

    Sometimes that's all it takes. As Waldman noted, Hoffman's sense of the line was off, and a slight adjustment of his putter-head at address allowed him to see more short putts go in. The proof was very much in evidence yesterday at Augusta National.  



  • 13:13
  • 13:15
    That's not a good start for William McGirt (-2), who bogeys his opening hole and drops back to two under. He came up short of the green in two, hit a weakish chip and then missed his 15-foot par putt.  
  • 13:16
    His playing partner Rod Pampling (+3) suffered the same fate.  
  • 13:17
    Anybody need a recap of the first round. Here you go.  
  • 13:17
  • 13:19
    And if you need to catch up in words and pictures, why not take time to read through Irish Times Golf correspondent Philip Reid's take on Day one here.
  • 13:22
    In fairness to McGirt and Pampling the first hole has proved itself a formidable challenge so far.  
  • 13:23
  • 13:26
    There was an issue with the graphic for the pin positions so hopefully this one is a little clearer.  
  • 13:26
  • 13:28
    McGirt came up just short of the par five second hole, in two shots and has chipped to about two feet. That should do for birdie and to reclaim the dropped short on the first.  
  • 13:31
    STAT ATTACK: This is how good Hoffman's opening 65 was against the average score from the rest of the field.  
  • 13:31
  • 13:35
    Okay someone's been fiddling with the shot tracer because according to that McGirt birdied the second hole but on the leaderboard he's down for a five.  
  • 13:39

    The most greens in regulation in round one.  

    Justin  Thomas - 15/ 18

    Charley  Hoffman - 14/ 18

    Kevin  Chappell - 14/ 18

    Andy  Sullivan - 14/ 18

    Justin  Rose - 14/ 18

    Hideki  Maysuyama - 14/ 18

    Ross  Fisher  - 14/ 18


     
  • 13:41
    Panic over. The shot tracer was correct. McGirt (-3) holed a two foot birdie putt to offset the bogey on the first.  
  • 13:45
    McGirt (-3) drive it to within 83-yards of the third green but his approach came up 22 feet short of the hole and his birdie putt, about 11 inches. He's caught the front trap with his tee shot on the par three, fourth.  
  • 13:47
    Of the first three groups out on the course, six players made bogey at the first and only two pars, one of which was former champion, Ian Woosnam.  
  • 13:48
    Anyone for a nice soothing picture collage from Round One.  
  • 13:48
  • 13:51
    BIRDIE: McGirt (-4) holed his 14-yard bunker shot tp get within three of leader Hoffman. He's now one under for his round after four holes, having bogeyed the first.  
  • 13:52
    Because someone asked nicely, the cut is the low 50 and ties and all players within 10 shots of the leader after today's second round.  
  • 13:53
  • 13:55
    McGirt (-4) has sliced his tee shot into the trees to the right of the fifth fairway.  
  • 13:57
    He's extricated himself to about 17-yards pin high, just off the green on the right. He's plenty of the short stuff to play with.  
  • 13:57
    This seems to suggest it's a tad chilly.  
  • 14:02
    An update on the waether front. The current wind speeds are about 16mph which are expected to freshen slightly to 20mph later in the day with the current sunshine giving way to overcast skies and a top temperature of 18 degrees.  
  • 14:03
    McGirt (-4) holes a 31-foot putt for par on the fifth; talk about a momentum sustainer.  
  • 14:06
    Here's a little Rory McIlroy moment from yesterday to whet your appetite for today's round. He's en route to the range ahead of his tee time at 3.34pm.  
  • 14:06
  • 14:07
    This isn't half bad from Lee Westwood (-2) and his approach to the 15th yesterday.  
  • 14:07
  • 14:09
    McGirt (-4) has found some shrubbery at the par three sixth with his tee shot. That's a dose of the rights for the second hole in succession.  
  • 14:10
    STAT ATTACK:  Charley Hoffman loves windy conditions: since 2010, he is 29 shots better to par than any other player at the Texas Open
  • 14:10
  • 14:12
    McGirts (-4) ball got a nice kick and he's about four feet left for his par.  
  • 14:13
  • 14:14

    ALTERNATIVE Round 1 Leaders:

    Greens in regulation:  Justin Thomas  - 15 of 18

    Driving accuracy:  Steve Stricker  - 14 of 14

    Driving distance:  Byeong Hun An  - 287.6 yards average

    Birdies:  Charley Hoffman  - 9

  • 14:16
    McGirt (-4) is off to the seventh tee. Solid start, one under for his round, two birdies and one bogey.  
  • 14:18
    Ernie Els (+1) is the latest player to bogey the first. He needs to finish in the top 11 to main his run of 23 Masters tournaments. Ross Fisher (+6) has dropped two shots at the first.  
  • 14:19
    Defending champions Danny Willett (+1) is on the course. He'll be hoping to improve on yesterday's 6-6 start.  
  • 14:20
    McGirt (-4) nudges his drive out just the 312 yards down the centre of the seventh fairway.  
  • 14:20
  • 14:22
    STAT ATTACK: In the last ten Masters, the most Europeans in the top 20 was 10 in 2014. There are currently 12 among the top 20 as things stand.
     
  • 14:27
    Willett is in trouble at the first.  
  • 14:27
  • 14:27
    The defending champion has played four shots and is still not on the green.  
  • 14:29
    Willett, shanked his fourth shot, and is not in yet having played six.  
  • 14:34
    I know it's cold in Augusta but don't think Willett will appreciate any Snowman references but that's what he's had, an eight, quadruple bogey on the first hole to follow a six yesterday. He drops from one over to five over.    
  • 14:35
    So the 2015 Masters champions Jordan Spieth had a quadruple bogey at the 12th last year and the 2016 champion Danny Willett has had a quad at the first hole this year.  
  • 14:38
  • 14:39
    Misery loves company. Jason Dufner (+2) has started double bogey, bogey.
  • 14:46
    McGirt (-4) has a 10 foot birdie putt on the eighth.  
  • 14:47
  • 14:49
    McGirt can't convert. He's four under playing the ninth.  
  • 14:53
    Austria's Bernd Wiesberger (+3) with two birdies in the first three holes.  
  • 14:53
  • 14:56

    Notable groups teeing off in the next hour.

     

    15.01 Charley Hoffman, Chris Wood (Eng), Yuta Ikeda (Jpn)

    15.12 Sergio Garcia (Spa), Lee Westwood (Eng), Shane Lowry (Irl)

    15.34 Rory McIlroy (Nirl), Hideto Tanihara (Jpn), Jon Rahm (Esp)

  • 14:58
    McGirt has knocked it stiff on the ninth. He should tidy up and turn at five under for the tournament and two under for his round. Some shooting.  
  • 14:58
  • 15:01
    Ladies and Gentlemen, your leader Charley Hoffman (-7) is on the first tee.  
  • 15:01
  • 15:04
    AMAZING: McGirt (-4) appears to have missed from FIVE INCHES for birdie.  
  • 15:05
    He turns in 35, one under for his round and four for the tournament, three behind Hoffman.  
  • 15:05
  • 15:07
    Ernie Els and Matt Kuchar are on level par through three holes.  
  • 15:09
    Charley Hoffman (-7) is on the first fairway, 189-yards to go for his second to a treacherous opening hole.  
  • 15:10
  • 15:12
    Hoffman safely on the green but he's 51-feet for his birdie attempt. If you offered him two from there all you'd see is his back heading for the second tee.  
  • 15:12
  • 15:18
    A first test of nerve for Hoffman (-7). He had to hole from seven feet for par and did so. The way the first hole is playing today and yesterday for that matter, it'll feel like a birdie.  
  • 15:19
    Quiet please for Shane Lowry.  
  • 15:19
  • 15:21
    Lowry may have caught the fairway bunker on the right from his opening tee shot.  
  • 15:21
  • 15:22
    McGirt (-4), Ryan Moore (+1) and Wiesberger (+3) are the only three players currently under par on the course.  
  • 15:26
    Henrik Stenson (+5) has enjoyed a quiet start to his round...........double bogey, eagle.
  • 15:26
  • 15:28
    Lowry did catch the sand and after his second shot is still about 40-yards shy of the first green.  
  • 15:31
    He chips to about 15 feet. He'll have that for par.  
  • 15:33
    BOGEY: Nope, he can't hole and in keeping with most of the field so far Lowry (+1) drops a shot at the first. Still it wasn't like it was a Danny Willett moment, the defending champion taking eight, a little earlier.  
  • 15:33
  • 15:34
    Lee Westood (-1) also bogeys the first but KLAXON alert Sergio Garcia (-2), the third member of the threeball made birdie.  
  • 15:35
  • 15:36
  • 15:39
    McGirt (-4) is through 11 holes but despite narrowing Hoffman's lead to three shots, that looks like becoming four after the leader, reached the par five, second hole in two shots and cosied his first putt up to three feet.  
  • 15:41
    BIRDIE: Hoffman's (-8) round is off and running at the second.  
  • 15:42
    McIlroy's opening tee shot is way left and deep in the trees.
  • 15:46
    Lowry (+1) in sand again off the tee on the second and can't go for the green.  
  • 15:51
    McIlroy managed to get to within 35 yards of the green with his second shot from the trees but his chip finishes about 12 feet from the hole and he'll have that for par. He holed so many of these putts around the turn yesterday and it would be a massive psychological fillip if he can do it here.
  • 15:53
    Lowry (+1) makes a par at the second but Westwood (-2) reclaims the shot that he dropped at the first and Garcia (-3) conjures a birdie, birdie start. Ole.  
  • 15:57
    BOGEY: McIlroy (+1) becomes the latest casualty of the first hole. Wild tee shot did all the damage.  
  • 15:57
  • 15:59
    McGirt (-4) has laid up on the par five 13th. Hoffman (-8) has made par on the third. Garcia (-3) has hot foot firmly on the accelerator, while Lowry (+1) and McIlroy (+1) are singing the bogey blues after the first hole.  
  • 15:59
  • 16:01
    Garcia's scorecards so far: three birdies, 17 pars, no dropped shots.  
  • 16:03
    Shane Lowry: Three tee shots, three bunkers.  
  • 16:06
    McIlroy has tickled his drive 393 yards down the par five second hole, leaving him just 174 to the green.  
  • 16:07
  • 16:13
    BOGEY: Lowry (+2) with his second dropped shot in the first three holes, largely due to catching sand with all his tee shots so far.  
  • 16:14
    BIRDIE: Three in as many holes for Garcia (-4), he's only four behind Hoffman and in a tie for second place alongside McGirt.  
  • 16:17
    BIRDIE: McIlroy (level) two-putts from 24-feet to reclaim the dropped shot at the first hole. It puts Lowry's start into perspective. The second hole is a good birdie chance. The Irishman could only manage a par and suffered bogeys on the first and third.  
  • 16:17
  • 16:19
    STAT ATTACK: In 18 career second rounds at the Masters, Garcia has shot in the 60s just twice. Looks like number three for far today.  
  • 16:20
    McGirt (+3) drops a shot on the 14th, back to level par for the day.  
  • 16:21
    Westwood (-1) drops a shot on the third: bogey, birdie, bogey start.  
  • 16:23
    Hoffman (-8) catches the sand from his tee shot on the par four, fifth.  
  • 16:24
  • 16:28
  • 16:29
    Garcia (-3) records his first bogey of the 2017 US Masters on the par three, fourth. Lowry (+2) holes a good seven footer to save his par.  
  • 16:30
    Hoffman (-8) continues his steady progress, one under for the second round through five holes.  
  • 16:30
  • 16:34
    BOGEY: McIlroy (+1) drops a shot for the second time in three holes. That was careless. He'd only 80 yards for his second shot and took four to get down. Bogey, birdie, bogey start.  
  • 16:36
    Ryan Moore (level) is two under for his round through 10 holes.  
  • 16:39
    McIlroy is still one shot better off at this stage of his round than he was yesterday. Concidentally be bogeyed the first and third holes both days but at least he had a birdie at the second today.  
  • 16:40
    For the fourth time in five holes Lowry is in the sand off the tee.  
  • 16:41
  • 16:48
    BOGEY: Lowry, his third in five holes. It's been a bit of a nightmare for him, all stemming from wayward tee shots.  
  • 16:50
    Hoffman (-7) bogeys the sixth. He's four clear of McGirt (-3) who has two holes to play and Sergio Garcia. McIlroy (+1) is one over through four holes, Lowry (+3) has suffered three dropped shots in his first five holes.  
  • 17:02
    McIlroy has sliced his tee shot into the trees to the right of the par four, fifth.  
  • 17:02
    El Nino is becalmed for the moment after a very fast start. Garcia four behind the leader Hoffman.  
  • 17:05
    BOGEY: Lowry's woes continue with a fourth dropped shot in five holes; he can't rescue a par from six feet.  
  • 17:07
    BOGEY: A second successive dropped shot for leader Charley Hoffman (-6). His lead is now just three shots and for the first time in 25 holes, his mettle is about to be tested.  
  • 17:10
    McGirt (-3) is on the 18th tee. The rest of the field will smell a little blood in the water and it's hard not to think that Hoffman will need to birdie the par five, eigth, to discourage his pursuers a little. Garcia is going well but outside of that no one is really mounting a concerted challenge.  
  • 17:10
    Westwood has dropped back to level par.  
  • 17:11
    BIRDIE: McIlroy (level) birdies the fifth. That's more like it. He's got a couple of tricky holes to negotiate in the par three sixth, and the narrow fairway on the seventh before he can open his shoulders and let rip at the par five, eighth.  
  • 17:13
    It is also the nature of Hoffman's second bogey of two in as many holes that may pray on his mind. He missed from five feet, in complete contrast to yesterday, where he made pretty much everything he looked at.  
  • 17:13
  • 17:20
    McGirt (-2) bogeys the last hole, three-putts from 60 feet. Still his one over, 73, is a reasonable score and at two under and in the clubhouse at the halfway stage, he can kick back and enjoy a freshening wind. Hoffman is coming back to him, Garcia is the only one that's really upwardly mobile in difficult playing conditions.  
  • 17:22

    BIRDIE: McIlroy's (-1) goes into red figures for his round and the tournament.Super tee shot into the sixth and maximises the return. Hoffman still has a few shots to play with but if McIlroy can pinch another birdie before the turn, he'll be looming into view on the scoreboard. Tied fourth as it is.    

  • 17:23
  • 17:25
    BOGEY: Three in a row for the badly listing Hoffman (-5) and this one at the par five, eighth. The San Diego native is just two clear of Garcia, his errant play giving the pursuing pack an adrenaline rush. Amen Corner looming to boot.    
  • 17:35
    Ryan Moore (-1) has accelerated through the field, three under for his round and nearly in sight of the clubhouse.  
  • 17:35
  • 17:38
    The wind is freshening and speaking of which I can see Johnny Watterson going through his stretching routine, not too dissimilar to that of Miguel Angel Jimenez, as he prepares to take over the blog at about 6.0pm. He'll be keeping a beady eye on McIlroy, saying a short novena for Lowry and wondering whether the afternoon starters will propel themselves into or out of the reckoning.  
  • 17:38
  • 17:40
    Hoffman (-5) manages to stop leaking shots with a par on the ninth. He turns in 38 shots and his lead is down to two, Garcia (-3) his closest pursuer.  
  • 17:40
  • 17:42
    The 2015 Irish Open champion Soren Kjeldsen (-1) has birdied the second hole to move into a tie for fourth alongside, including others, his successor as Irish Open champion, McIlroy.  
  • 17:44
    BOGEY: Lowry's (+5) misery continues at the par five, eighth. If he pars the ninth he'll turn in 41 shots.    
  • 17:44
  • 18:06
    Hoffman (-4) has been caught by virtue of his boey on the 10th and Garcia's birdie (-4).  
  • 18:06
    McIlroy (-1) hasn't been able to take advantage of the par five, eighth for the second day in a row.  
  • 18:08
    Right Johnny Watterson has poured himself a glass of Rioja and set fire to a cheroot, ala Miguel Angel Jimenez, and he'll take you through the rest of the day's golf.  
  • 18:11

    Good evening folks...Have just completed the Miguel Jimenez stretching routine and am feeling good...not so good for Charlie Hoffman.

    Leading the Masters on   -8 about 90 minutes ago he has fallen back to -4 and he's in the trees from the tee at 11.

    Luckily he has a peep and gets it out up to but short of the green.

    A hole behind Garcia is also on -4 having started his second day on -2,

     

  • 18:17

    Bogey for Hoffman. He falls back to second place on -3. Couldn't get up and down from off the green at 11 and Garcia now leads the Masters on -4

    Sad for Hoffman. He picks his ball out of the 11th hole, a little dazed about how he has lost five shots since the second hole.

  • 18:19

     

    Sergio now drops a shot on the 10th and invites Hoffman back in to share the lead at -3. Hoffman draws a cheer from the crowd at the par 3 12th hole, his ball thunping nicely onto the green.

  • 18:20
  • 18:26

    Rory has put his ball into the trees at nine. He is in bogey land here....yep he's dropped a shot and is back to level par and on the 10th tee box. He didn't recover from his wayward drive.

    Lowry has hit a beauty of a drive at 11...a beauty of an apprioach and he's in birdie territory. He needs it. He's +8 with the projected cut +7.

  • 18:26
  • 18:30
  • 18:30
  • 18:33

    Yes well Rory T11 needs more of those 54 foot chip-ins going into amen corner. He has a 30 foot putt on the par 4 10th hole.

     

  • 18:38
    Calamity for Sergio on the 10th hole. A triple bogey 7 on the par 4 has undone all of his great work. That drops him to -1 and T3.
  • 18:38
    This leaderboard is changing so fast I'll throw up another one in a tick.
  • 18:39
  • 18:40
  • 18:43

    Rory is safely in at 10 for par. His 30 foot putt was five feet off but he dropped the second putt and remains on level par teeing of at 11.

    Just 3 of 6 drives have hit the fairway so far for Rory... Boom...make that 4 from 7.

  • 18:43
  • 18:49

    13th hole and a blessed birdie for Hoffman. He needed that one after his round started slipping in the wrong direction. That's him back to -4 and back to leading the Masters by one shot from Sergio at 3 under.

     

  • 18:51
    Rory hits a sawn off iron to the green at 11. He probably expected a bit more run out but the ball has stopped dead just on the green and he's looking at a long down wind putt for birdie. What are we talking about. Birdie? Par from this distance would be a result.
  • 18:53
  • 18:55
    Rory almost makes his putt from the other parish on the par 4 11th hole. It shaves the cup and. ..eh... keeps going. Still a bit of work to do to get his par.
  • 18:58

    Rahm move to level par with a birdie on 11, his first of the day. Great recovery from the young Spaniard after his double bogey on 10.


    McIlroy rolls his five foot putt for par on 11. He remains level for the tournament.

  • 19:02

    What's with Sergion? He just fluffed his chip onto the green at 13 andthe ballt has rolled back to him. That's probably a shot dropped....

    Shane Lowry putts for Eagle on the same hole. He barely tips it and it rolls past the hole. He needs birdie here at +8 and the projected cup now +6

  • 19:05
    There has been an official scoreboard malfunction and the noise coming back is that Sergio did NOT make a triple on the 10th. The Masters scoreboard still shows a 7 but that is in doubt and now entirely confusing. We'll try to sort it out...
  • 19:09

    Level par Rory over the flag at the par 3 12th. Duffs his chip from just off the green and leaves himself an 10 footer for par across shadows. But he never had the line and he drops a shot to go +1. Disgusted with the chip, his ball takes the blame and is hurled into the lake.

    Wrong direction Rory.

     

  • 19:14
    Lowry makes his birdie putt on 13 and takes a step closer to making the cut, He's now +7 with the projected cut at +6. There are a few trying to rush the cut line at +7 including Stenson, Weir, Langer and last year's champion Willett
  • 19:16
    Sergio is in second place on -2, Hoffman leading a shot better off. Not every scoreboard will tell you that. Not even the official Masters scoreboard !
  • 19:17
  • 19:17
    That last post explains the big confusion!
  • 19:19
  • 19:20
  • 19:20
  • 19:23

    Rory off the pine straw for his second on 13 appears to slip. He drops his club anxiously but the ball seems to have landed safely in a greenside bunker.

    Rahm hits the longest tee shot of the day on 13. Turned pro last year and this is his first Masters. His second shot to the green sets up and eagle putt from 20 feet.

  • 19:24
    LEADERBOARD

    Finally they have sorted the Garcia 10th hole mystery
  • 19:26
    Magical chip from Rory sets him up with a birdie putt on the par 5 13th. Round of applause from the gallery. Still he is a little hot and cold today. Anywhere in minus figures would be good today.
  • 19:26
  • 19:27
  • 19:30
    Rahm goes 1 under and three shots off the lead thru 13. Rory...Rory...Rory mises his birdie from maybe five feet. That's a poor par for the Nordy after a dramatic splash out from the bunker.
  • 19:35
  • 19:37
  • 19:39
    Rory has cut his 339 yards drive into the trees on the right at 14. Not sure how he sits there but he's just 107 yards from the pin.
  • 19:48
  • 19:49
    Rickie Fowler has a nice little round going. Now on (-2) he started his second round par-eagle-birdie.
  • 19:53
    Rory on the Par 5 15th. He's +1 for the round so far. Needs something, even just one shot somewhere over the last four. That would put him within four shots of the lead - still Hoffman on -4.
  • 19:55

    Apparently Sergio Garcia has the worst 3rd round scoring average at Augusta over the last 30 years (min. 10 rounds), 74.92

    Who digs up these stats...?

    Lowry on +7 rolls his birdie putt just wide on 16. He needs a shot in the closing two holes to keep within the cut line.

  • 19:58
    Sergio has folloed up his birdie at 15 with a solid par. He's three under with two to play and just a shot off Hoffman at the top of the leaderboard on -4.
  • 19:59
  • 20:03
    Rory's third shot to the 530 yard 15th hits the green alright. But as ever in Augusta it depends what part of the green the ball hits. Now it's rolling and rolling and...well that's 30 feet away now.
  • 20:06

    Rory's long one for birdie on 15 looks very, very good running up the slope and online but it just slows for a tap in par. Nicely done and no drama. Not like Rory at all!

     

  • 20:09
    Now there's a shot we could all hit!! Hideto Tanihara has just shanked a wedge almost at a 90 degree angle to the right and into the gallery on 15 - a very embarassed loking Japanese lad.
  • 20:12
    16th par 3 and Rory is leaning to his right trying to urge the ball to go his way. But it lands short anyway and looks like it has popped into the sand. That will be a tough up and down for par.
  • 20:14
    Meanwhile Sergio rolls in a four foot putt for birdie on 17 and he steps up to 4 under and a share of the lead with Hoffman.
  • 20:15
  • 20:18
    Rory is not in the sand but just short of it on 16. He has to pitch the ball high over the sand and stop it. It goes high...it hits the green before the pin....it rolls...it stops dead and... the crowd rise from their fold chairs to praise him.
  • 20:21

    75 today - Hoffman on -4 and current joint leader

    "I got out of position and didn't make the putts I needed to make...when I'm out of position I just have to get back like everyione else and I didn't do that."

  • 20:24
    Beautiful approach from Sergio at 18. He leaves himself with a great birdie opportunity and if he can drop this one he will lead the 81st Masters with -5. Lot of people willing him out there.
  • 20:27
    Six bogeys and and a double bogey has made this a fraught second day for Ireland's Shane Lowry. Par on the 17th leaves him one more hole to move from +7 to +6 and inside the projected cut which is still +6.
  • 20:28
  • 20:33

    It looks like it is not to be for Lowry. His second shot at 18 lands just short of the green. He does not make the long put, the ball running four feet past. He will sign for a par and +7 for th tournament.

    Unless the cut line changes as the day progresses Lowry is out of this year's Masters.

  • 20:34
    Garcia misses a shrt one on 18. An unfortunate end to a good round that puts him up as joint leader with Hoffman on -4.
  • 20:37
    Birdie from Rory on 17 and back to level par. It was his approach that set up the chance. His iron from the right side of the fairway was the best of his bunch and stopped 12 feet from the pin. But he dropped the putt and the little fist pump showed how important that one was. He's 4 shots of the clubhouse leaders Garcia and Hoffman.
  • 20:39
    Rory quickly picks up his tee at 18. That's a good sign as the ball hangs in the air for about two minutes.
  • 20:40
  • 20:43

    Sergio 69 today and joint leader on -4

    "I feel like I hit the ball better than yesterday. I feel great. A coule of stupid mistakes but that can happen out here and I moved   on and made a couuple of birdies and pars."

    He's getting spliced soon. Nice wedding present if he could make the weekend work out.

  • 20:50

    McIlroy is 140 yards from the pin. Pin is front right so he's in perfect position. He twirls the iron in his hands satisfied with the stroke. It looks on line...it is on line...but crack... his ball hits the flag stick and deflects the to the right and off the green.


    What thundering bad luck. Now he has to pitch in from the rough and get up and down for par.


     


     

  • 20:57

    Luckily for Rory his pitch is into the wind. He makes a perfect connection and the ball rolls to four feet. Should have been a par but he pulls the ball right and misses...*"@@$ that anyway.


    He closes his round with bogey on 18. No justice there. But he is very much still in the mix on +1 after what was an indifferent round with five bogeys on his card for a 73.

  • 21:03

    Rory - "It was another day where you just had to battle and pick of the pars and maybe get a few   biries. The shot at the last, it looked like it was going to be a tap in birdie. These things happen I just have to go and birdie the first hole tomorrow and all will be forgotten.

    "I feel like I can put a 31 or 32 together and get a bit closer to the leaders. I know I can go quite a bit lower for the weekend."

  • 21:07
    Sergio has been listening to Conor McGregor...
  • 21:07
  • 21:08
    ...or maybe Eric Cantona
  • 21:11
    An eagle and two birdies on the front nine makes Fowler a happy boy. He's just a shot behind the leaders Sergio and Hoffman as he heads towards Amen Corner.
  • 21:13
  • 21:15
    Bubba with his pink ball will not be in the tournament for the weekend. His short putt on 18 lipped out to put him on +8. The projected cut has not moved from +6.
  • 21:25
  • 21:31
    Lefty is having a right old arm wrestle with the course today and you would have to say he is winning. He began the day with bogey and followed that with two birdies. Then there was a bogey at five, a birdie at 7 and he's sitting on -2 and tied for 4th place.
  • 21:32
  • 21:32
    Sorry to bring this up but where is Donald Trump?
  • 21:33
    This is what got Sergio all nice an mystical...
  • 21:33
  • 21:38
    There's a lot of nostalgic support for Fred Couples, who looks like he needs a tickle to wake him up. That's the beauty of the man. That slow lazy swing. Nothing like it apart from Els. And it's working too... he is -1 thru 11 holes.
  • 21:39
  • 21:41
    Phil goes out in 35...he's just a couple of shots off the lead...he'll be loving this,,, whenever he holes out even for par there is almost a standing ovation. Never anything but the crowd favourite.
  • 21:45
    Philip Reid IT Golf Corr -

    Where once he was touted as the highest paid “sportsman” in New Zealand – something which truly irked those who actually were sportsmen, like the All Blacks – there is a longevity to Steve Williams’ career as a caddie that would make him the envy of those who actually do graft for their craft.
     
    This is Williams’ 30th time caddying at the Masters, something of a milestone among those bag-carrying peers who have watched him walk with four different champions. Of course, three of them were with his old employer Tiger Woods (in 2001, 2002 and 2005) and the fourth time was with Aussie Adam Scott, in 2013.
     
    Yet, to this day, Williams takes most pride in getting Scott to slip into a green jacket. Why? Because his man took his advice on the curling putt at the second play-off hole of sudden-death to win out over Angel Cabrera.
     
    “That putt might be, seriously, the highlight of my career because Adam called me over to read it. He said, ‘I’m not sure on this putt, it’s dark and I’m reading it one cup out to the right’. I said, ‘Adam, this putt breaks more than it looks. I guarantee it. It’s two cups out to the right. Trust me’.”
     
  • 21:54
    Couples is surely giving   Tiger Woods some pause for thought. Afterall he's a 57 year old with a bad back on the first page of the Masters thru 12 holes of his second round.
  • 21:57
    Belgian Thomas Pieters has just gotten his second wind. The young European Ryder Cup player came and faded and has come again. Although he began his second round with a bogey, he's carded two birdies and an eagle on the par 5 13th hole. All in all Pieters has sneaked up the field and he's within a shot of Garcia and Hoffman, who are leading the field on -4.
  • 21:59
  • 22:03
    Well, either the beer garden has just opened in Augusta or the fans are getting excited at Phil Mickelson moves to one shot off the leaders. He gives the thumbs up as some fans scream his name after birdie on 1- for -3.
  • 22:06
    The short putter is not helping Adam Scott. A dedicated broomhandle man his achilles heel is from six to eight feet out. The wry smile on 14 where he makes bogey from around four feet for +1. His golf swing though....!
  • 22:08
  • 22:09
  • 22:13
    Willett, Lowry, Stenson, Olazabal, Singh, Woosnam, Vegas, Immelman all out. But not Fred Couples as the crowd rise to their feet when he birdies 13 to go 2 under.
  • 22:15
  • 22:17
    There are just 10 players in minus numbers, three   of them, Hoffman, Garcia and Pieters leading on -4 and Pieters the only one of those three who is still out on the course.
  • 22:18
  • 22:21

    Philip Reid IT Golf Corr -

    A new ticketing policy has been introduced at the Masters, and it would seem there is method in the decision to stop unlimited entry and re-entry on tickets.
    Now, “patron tickets will be limited to three entries a day,” according to Augusta National Golf Club policy where, in previous tournaments, those attending could come and go as often as they liked during the day.
    The policy is aimed at halting a practice that apparently was too common, where patrons enter then sent their badges back out with someone to use to get others in; or, where a ticket was used by the same person for multiple entries simply to stockpile large quantities of merchandise.
  • 22:28

    Butch Harmon doesn't get everything right but his pick since Dustin Johnson pulled out after falling down the stairs my just be. He has gone for Rickie Fowler - another player he coaches along the way.

     The Californian has only gone and made birdie on 13 to make it a decnt looking fourball at the top of the leaderboard. Hoffman, Garcia, Pieters and Fowler are all on -4. That's a pretty cosmopolitan looking lot.

  • 22:29
  • 22:35
    Fowler looks downbeat for the first time today. An idifferent iron at 14 has the Californian staring at his ball with his arms folded. He has improoved steadily from the beginning of his round from +1 to -4 and no backsteps - so far.
  • 22:36
  • 22:45

    A Mr P Harrington has joined in the commentary for Sky. The first things he says is that he would rather be playing. But, he adds, I might learn something here for next year. Like that positivity.

    PS: what is it with Irish golfers getting the big gigs. McGinley and Harrington and of course Feherty too.

  • 22:49

    The odds are stacked against Fred Couples. Much as he would be a real crowd pleaser Jack Nicklaus holds the record for the most Masters victories, winning the tournament six times during his career. But Nicklaus is also the oldest winner of the Masters: he was 46 years 82 days old when he won in 1986. Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods co-hold the record for most consecutive victories with two.

    Couples is now two shots of the four leaders on -4.

  • 22:56

    Fowler goes long off the tee at 15 and that means only one thing especially on the left. It means a watery end and that's exactly where Fowler's has ended up. The crowd don't like it.

    But Phil is at hand to chuck his ball real close at 13. He's hanging in around the top at 2 under par and now striding proudly up towards the green to mark his ball.

  • 23:01
  • 23:05

    Phil goes to -3 and one shot off the lead. His majestic appriooach to 13 left him with a short putt. Bread and butter for him you would say but not quite. The ball went in alright but not without taking a peek at staying out on the left lip.

    LEADREBOARD

  • 23:06
  • 23:11
    Bogey six at the par 5 15th hole for Fowler. The sunny Californian disposition disappered behind some clouds after that. But he'son the green at 16 and that's a decsnt response at the par 3.
  • 23:15

    Still just 10 players inthe red at Augusta National, Pieters is going up the 18th but could be in   trounble off the tee, His 264 yard drive into the trees on the right won't help him get that birdie that would put him out on his own at the top of the leaderboard.

     

  • 23:17
    Bounce back for Fowler at 16, Straight after his ball plunging in the water at 15 he hits the green and sinks his putt.Mr Sunshine is back again.
  • 23:18
  • 23:18
  • 23:20
    Fantastic weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday at The Masters. Light winds and sunshine, greens quickening da da da da...
  • 23:24

    Heck of a shot for Pieters on 18 from left of the green from a downhill lie and a green running away from him.

    Using the back slope perfectly Pieters runs the ball long the bank and as it curves around the back it rolls to four feet. It could save the Belgian's par and keep him at the top as one of the joint leaders on -4.

  • 23:26
    Pieters drops his putt on 18 for 68. He walks in to sign for joint leader with Fowler, Garcia and Hoffman on -4. The impassive look on his face though, you would never know it.
  • 23:32
  • 23:33
    Fowler has never led after any round of a Major. But he is tied now for the lead with the 18th hole giving him an opportunity to break that duck. He alsomost did it on 17 to go to -5. But left his putt short and dead on line.
  • 23:37

    Phil is having one of those all over the place holes on 15. He is struggling to make par on the par 5 after getting out of position from the tee. He is off the green and about 10 feet away for his fifth stab. Needs to sink it to stay 2 under.

    He takes the flag out and naturally the ball rolls in for par. Phew! was the look on his face.

  • 23:40

    "I played mostly the same golf, gave myself a lot of chances. I don't over think stuff. I think people try to over think Augusta, make it special. It is special but just hit shots.

    "I'm going to take that experience I got in the Ryder Cup, immense pressue but I like that pressure." - Thomas Pieters

  • 23:42
    Couples at level par on 17....
  • 23:42
  • 23:45
  • 23:48
    What do you know. Couples finishes off in style grabbing a late birdie on 18 to leave him in the red going into round 3. Today's two under par 70 puts him 3 shots off the leaders and -1 overall.
  • 23:49
  • 23:52
    Lefty falls back a a shot on 15. His round is well balanced though - five birdies and bogey on five holes. He's now -1 with two to play.
  • 23:52
  • 23:59

    Okay, Garcia, Hoffman, Pieters, Fowlewr - all -4. The next closest player is Justin Rose who is on -2 thru 15 holes and four other players on -1.

    For McIlroy his game tomorrow is to make up ground. He played with Pieters in the Ryder Cup and will know what a wise old head sits on those young shoulders. But he needs to get closer for a final day lunge. Moving day - isn't that what they call it.

  • 00:01
  • 00:04

    Fowler - 67 today and joint leader at -4

    "I think we got the good side of the draw. We were able to take advantage of that. Really pleased with the round today.I'm excited.Making a lot of birdies and looking forward to the weekend. It's going to be fun."

  • 00:05
  • 00:06
  • 00:12
    Phil on 18 is trying to stop the bleeding. But his drive finds the trees on the right and it looks like trouble on the last hole of the day. He has made bogey in three of the last four and depending on his position in the trees could fall back another shot which would put him at +1. He was -3 at the 13th.
  • 00:15
    Philip Reid IT Golf Corr -
    By the numbers
    $325
    The face value price of a four-day tournament ticket to the Masters, making it one of the best-value tickets in sport. If you can get one!
  • 00:16

    Here are the most cuts made by players in Masters' history -

    Jack Nicklaus 37
    Gary Player 30
    Fred Couples 29 (including today)
    Ray Floyd 27

  • 00:18
    Phil can't make the green with his second on 18. That means par at best unless he can chip in from 30 yards back. It is his speciality but it's an up and down to save par on the last hole of the day.
  • 00:19

    Jordan Spieth has quietly slipped up the leaderboard with a 69 today and just 4 back. He's been inside the top-10 entering the weekend in all 4 of his Masters starts.

     

  • 00:20
    Well Phil has not chipped in but he has chipped it stone dead and he will be a factor over the weekend. It's a tap in for him to stay at level par. The bleeding has stopped and just as well.
  • 00:24
  • 00:24
  • 00:29

    Justin Rose is lining up his second shot to the 18th green. The last group out he's looking for par or better. Sitting on a satisfying -1 he has to play from the pine needles while standing on the fairway grass. But he has a clear view.

    He hits it fat and the fall is short of the green. He is looking at a tough up and down to save par. Lefty did it !

  • 00:38

    Rose pitches his ball short. But he has a reasonable putt of 10 feet or so for par on 18. It's not what he wanted but being stoic is half the battle here.

    He has a good look but his ball slides to the left and he drops a shot finishing on -1. He doesn't look to unhappy about it and that's because he is still in the mix.

    So that's it folks. Tomorrow they pair up, the leaders on -4 and as many as a dozen more within reach. It is tight at the top and still wide open.

    LEADERBOARD