Spieth Falls Back, Reed Leads After Second Round Of 2018 Masters Tournament

Grant SmithApr 08, 2018

He putted from the fringe to 6 feet and then drained it, flashing the kind of putter prowess that carried him (10 putts) on the back nine in the opening round Thursday.

Tony Finau was unable to construct on his first day heroics, however a two-over 74 left him in a bunch at two-under-par 142 which included Rickie Fowler.

"I'm not going to downgrade my skill level, but I'm also not going to downgrade my ability to take punches and fight back on this course", he said. "It's about riding momentum from last week and this round". Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were both playing in their 10th Masters when they finally won, and Arnold Palmer won his first at the age of 28 - the same age McIlroy is now.

With the wind behind, the par-five eighth played the easiest at an average of 4.678, yielding one eagle, 29 birdies and just three bogeys.

Birdies on the 14th and 15th gave the 14-time main victor a security buffer and he might afford to drop an extra shot on the 16th however nonetheless be round for the ultimate two rounds. Several other accomplished golfers are looming on the leaderboard.

Right behind? Five major champions, for starters.

But he has managed just five birdies through two rounds (Reed had nine in his round Friday), has twice hit it in the water at the 12th hole, had to take an unplayable lie at the fifth on Friday and has gone nine straight major rounds shooting over par.

The best comeback? That might now belong to Finau.

"But I made some nice par saves and was able to grind out some phenomenal second-shot iron shots and good two-putt birdies".

Leishman also played in the afternoon, in front of the largest gatherings.

McIlroy was meticulous in his preparations for this Masters, coming up from Florida to play 54 holes with members last week and 36 a few weeks before that.

"The more you get to play out here, the more comfortable you get with the golf course", said Reed.

Spieth pushed his first drive way right and pulled his next one well left.

Rory McIlroy wanted to get off to a solid start at the Masters, his latest shot at a career Grand Slam.

Defending champion Sergio Garcia and 2016 victor Danny Willett missed the cut. Reed made three consecutive birdies on the back nine before making a bogey at the par-3 16th and slipping a bit. "It felt like I left a couple out there on 17 and 18 so I could have shot something in the 60s, but overall (I'm) pretty pleased with how I played".

However, with eight major champions and six players ranked inside the World's top 10 now occupying spots 3-T8 on the Masters leaderboard, there's plenty of experienced players chasing Reed's lead.

It was barnstorming Patrick Reed's day at Augusta National, but Australia's Marc Leishman had his moments as well and the big man from Warrnambool is in contention again for his first major championship.

Woods, dressed all in black, was under par for all of one hole. He took advantage of his length and made birdie at 13 and then rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at 14. The lowlight was a very Mickelsonian argument with the trees and azaleas on No. 9 - which he lost on the way to a triple bogey 7 there.

But the long-hitting superstar has never cracked par in the third round in six prior trips to the weekend at the Masters.

Even without them, the show is just getting started.

In one sense, he was happy to be playing.

He bogeyed his final hole for a 79, the second time in three years he posted that number. "I believe that if I play the golf that I know how to play, I can win majors". If I look at it one way, I mean, in 2016, I went bogey, bogey, quad and then was able to rebound from that.

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