Masters Highlights: Chasing the Green Jacket

masters

19 players stand within four shots of the lead after two rounds of the 2013 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

THE LEADERS

The 36-hole leader at the 2013 Masters is Jason Day (-6) of Australia, who shot the round of the day on Friday (a 4-under 68). Day had six birdies on Friday, including four on the back nine. Day heads to Saturday with a one shot lead, and is no stranger to success at Augusta. In his first start at the Masters in 2011, Day finished at -12, good for second place. Perhaps this year Day could earn his first major title at the Masters. No Australian player has ever won the Green Jacket.

Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters Champion, is once again in contention at Augusta National. The 53-year-old Couples opened  with six birdies and a round of 68 (-4) on Thursday, and followed up with a score of  71 (-1) on Friday. His total of 5-under par is good enough to earn him a spot in the final pairing on Saturday.

Mark Leishman of Australia shot a 66 yesterday but finished at 73 today, joining Fred Couples at 5-under par. Leishman, like many players on Friday, struggled in windier conditions on Friday, earning three bogeys to just two birdies. Still, Leishman is right in the middle of a crowded leaderboard. Jim Furyk, Angel Cabrera, and Brandt Snedeker stand at 4-under par, two shots off the lead. Furyk nearly won the 2012 US Open last summer at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, but faltered down the stretch. Cabrera has two major championships, including the 2009 Masters championship. Snedeker is the fourth-ranked player in the world and won the 2012 FedEx Cup.

TIGER ON THE PROWL

He’s back at #1. He’s back at Augusta. Tiger Woods is back as the overwhelming favorite to win the Masters (a tournaments he has won four times), and started out by shooting a fairly pedestrian 70 (-2) on Thursday. He recorded three birdies and one bogey, and played a solid, but not spectacular round of golf. “It’s a good start,” Tiger said. “But right now I’m only four back and I’m right there.” Tiger jumped out to a lead on Friday, but bogeyed 2 of his final four holes to finish at -3 for the tournament, three strokes off the lead. He made some mental mistakes down the stretch, but Tiger Woods is very much in contention heading into the weekend.

THE KID CAN PLAY

Perhaps the most surprising player on the course this week was 14-year-old Tianlang Guan. The youngster from China punched his ticket to the Masters by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, and came to Augusta not just to play, but to score well. At 14, he is the youngest player to ever play in the Masters, and got off to a hot start on Thursday shooting 73 (+1) to finish T-46. On Friday, he shot 75 (+3) and made the cut, despite being penalized for a slow play delay. Two time Masters champion and playing partner Ben Crenshaw was impressed with Guan: “He played a beautiful round of golf. He stays well within himself. He’s very confident and his thought process never got rushed. Very patient. Very impressive.” Clearly, Tianlang Guan has a bright future in golf for years to come.

OTHER NOTABLE SCORES

Sergio Garcia            66-76 (-2, T-14th)

Rory McIlroy             72-70 (-2, T-14th)

Rickie Fowler            68-76 (E, T-27th)

Phil Mickelson          71-76 (+3, T-48th)

Bubba Watson           75-73 (+4, T-55th) *Bubba Watson was not permitted to use his new hovercraft at the Masters.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: