By Mark Kendall. Last Updated: 12/04/14 10:41am
The patrons were treated to another fascinating day of action at Augusta National on Friday
We’ve got reaction from all the big names, our presenter blog direct from Augusta and also the shots of the day from the second round of the 2014 Masters.
Well day two is done and once again scoring proved extremely tough with a number of big names failing to make the cut including Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Luke Donald and, for the first time in 17 years, Phil Mickelson.
But some proved it was not an impossible task, most notably Bubba Watson who opened a three-shot lead on the field after a 68 that included six birdies. The 2012 champion is now the man to beat…
Mark Roe, Paul McGinley and Colin Montgomerie sat down to reflect on a fascinating second round that once again saw the players tested to the full. While many big names struggled, there were some impressive European performances to discuss, as well as the emergence of a clear new favourite.
However, while Bubba Watson may have lit up Augusta for a second day running, Monty feels the left-hander may struggle to hold on. “That last shot to 18 from the middle of fairway was very, very poor and that was the one time he was under pressure. I doubt Bubba’s going to hold on on this occasion and therefore enter Adam Scott and enter everyone who is three and four-under.”
While the treacherous Augusta greens may have left many with their head in their hands, some showed what was possible with a bit of imagination and touch. Bubba and Lee Westwood have both made our shots of the day selection after their efforts with the putter at the 14th and fifth respectively… but was Brandt Snedeker’s approach to 18 perhaps the pick of the bunch on day two? Watch and decide!
While Monty may not be convinced about Bubba’s chances of going on to claim a second Green Jacket, the man himself cut an impressively focused figure when interviewed after his second round of 68. It included an incredible run of five straight birdies between the 12th and 16th holes and, after admitting he was somewhat unsettled by the task of defending 12 months ago, the big-hitting left-hander certainly sounds ready for the challenge that lies ahead this time around.
Things may not have started well for Justin Rose after a first round of 76, but the Englishman demonstrated his character and ability with a second round of 70 to ensure he made the cut with something to spare and is not totally out of contention. Now a major winner of course, Rose showed the kind of patience and belief required to succeed around Augusta on a day when many fell by the wayside. That included both his playing partners, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els, who shot over-par for the second day running and will not be present over the weekend.
Debutants are traditionally meant to struggle around Augusta National but Stephen Gallacher has clearly not read that particular script. Having opened with a fine 71, the 39-year-old Scot maintained his momentum with a level-par second round and finds himself in a tie for tenth at the halfway stage. Despite playing the iconic lay-out for the first time, Gallacher is already talking like an Augusta veteran and insists that “staying in position” and “missing in the right places” have been the key to his impressive progress.
One man who is certainly no Augusta rookie is Lee Westwood, back making his 15th Masters appearance this year. The Englishman came in slightly under the radar having rather struggled for form this season, but his Augusta experience has told once again – let’s not forget this is a man who has finished 11th or better for the last four years! Westwood reached the halfway stage well in contention at level-par and the 40-year-old believes he has every chance of getting involved in the shake-up come Sunday – especially if he can make better use of the par-5s over the weekend.
She’s one of the rising stars of the women’s game and now Charley Hull has got to realise another of her dreams having arrived to attend her first Masters on Friday. The 18-year-old burst on to the scene with her display in the Solheim Cup last year and recently chalked up her first professional win in Morocco. The teenager admitted to being blown away by Augusta describing the venue as a “golf Disneyland” and went on to reveal she planned to spend some of her recent winnings in the Masters souvenir shop!