Masters 2014 Round 2 wrap-up

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The 2012 Champion, Bubba Watson, has put himself in with a terrific chance of winning his second Green Jacket. 

The second round of the 78th Masters at Augusta National was all about the 2012 Champion, Bubba Watson, who came into this Tournament under the radar (he didn’t give one pre-Tournament press conference) and now has a three-shot lead going into the weekend.

Bubba followed his 69 on Thursday with a 68 on Friday, which included a stretch from the par-3 12th to the par3 16 of five consecutive birdies.

“I feel really good,” he said afterwards. ”When I finish my round, I don’t turn the tv on. I don’t read anything. I know how well I’ve played. I don’t need others telling me that. I’ve won golf tournaments before. I’ve been lucky enough to win here. This weekend I’ve just got to keep my head down and keep doing the same things I have been doing. I must try not to focus on the crowds cheering for me and stuff. I’ve got to stay level, not get too energised, not get too excited.”

Bubba has never had a swing coach; never had a golf lesson. He plays the game with amazing imagination, and on Friday hit a 9-iron 150 yards, and then a couple of holes later hit the same club 186 yards. That’s Bubba golf.

But, despite a three-shot lead over John Senden (with Jonas Blixt, Jordan Spieth, Thomas Bjorn and Adam Scott a shot further back) a Bubba win is certainly no foregone conclusion. The lefty has held the halfway lead eight times in his career; and only converted one of those into a win.

What was amazing about the cut (which came at 4-over-par) was how many big names missed it, and won’t be around at the weekend. The field being reduced from 97 to 51 meant that Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson, Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, and the most recent major champion, Jason Dufner are among those who won’t be around.

Indeed, it will be the first time since 1994 that a Masters weekend won’t feature either Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. Mickelson’s missed cut was perhaps the most unexpected of all; because before this year he had made 16 cuts at Augusta in a row.

If Jordan Spieth wins on Sunday night, the 20-year-old (who turns 21 at the end of July) will become the youngest ever winner of a Green Jacket, edging out Tiger Woods. And we could also have the oldest ever winner, given that there are six over-50s, all playing on the Senior Tour, who made the cut. Five of them (Larry Mize, Sandy Lyle, Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh and Freddie Couples) are past Champions, with the one exception being Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Couples is truly amazing, because since turning 50 four years ago, he has finished in the top-15 every year. It will be a very popular story here in Georgia if he comes out on top on Sunday night.

Interestingly, none of the Champions from 2004 to 2011 will be around for the weekend. The 2012 Champion is leading by three. And, many think that last year’s Champion, Adam Scott, is the man with the best chance of stopping him. If that happens, the Australian will become a member of a very elite club of four, which includes Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.

Leaderboard:
-7 (137) Bubba Watson
-4 (140) John Senden
-3 (141) Thomas Bjorn, Jonas Blixt, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth
-2 (142) Fred Couples, Jimmy Walker, Jim Furyk
-1 (143) Kevin Streelman, Stephen Gallacher, Russell Henley, Kevin Stadler, Jamie Donaldson
Level (144) Lucas Glover, Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Lee Westwood, Brandt Snedeker
+1 (145) Henrik Stenson, Stewart Cink, Mike Weir, K J Choe, Steve Stricker
+2 (146) Larry Mize, Vijay Singh, Bernhard Langer, Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose, Steven Bowditch, Brendon de Jonge, Ian Poulter, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas, Thorbjorn Olesen

Photos: Getty Images

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