Friday at the Masters: A stacked leaderboard of major champions, Spieth and Thomas bounce back and five MUST see moments


Recapping Friday at the Masters: A stacked leaderboard of major champions, Spieth and Thomas bounce back and five MUST see moments

It's all to play for this weekend as a leaderboard full of some of the best players in the world head in to the weekend firmly in contention to win the first major of the year. 

Here's what you missed from day two (click on the links to jump down the page to the story)

•  Five major champions top the leaderboard
•  Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson sit one shot back
•  Schauffele, Thomas and Spieth rally from over par to red figures
•  World No.1 Justin Rose misses the cut
•  Five MUST see moments from Round 2
•  Langer says he'd swap experience for distance around Augusta

Five major champions top the leaderboard after round 1

Five major champions took a share of the lead on seven-under-par after the second round of the 2019 Masters, while a congeseted field of top players in the game all sit within striking distance.

Here's a quick run down of how each player made it to the top of the leaderboard. 

Francesco Molinari was the first man to get to seven-under par after firing the lowest round he's ever shot at The Masters - a bogey free 67. It comes after years of struggling on the putting surfaces at Augusta National, and Molinari was quick to credit coach Phil Kenyon for the turnaround in his short game. He made his first birdie on the 3rd, added more at eight and nine and made the most of the par-three 12th and par-five 15th holes to gain a momentary outright lead.

> Francesco Molinari's says 'massive difference' on greens behind best ever round at Augusta

Brooks Koepka birdied the first to extend his first-round lead but gave back two shots with a costly double bogey at the second after driving it in to the trees. It wouldn't be until the fifth hole that he would make his first par of the day, and after making the turn in one-over, Koepka rebounded with birdies on 15 and 18 to card a 71. 

Jason Day received medical attention on course yesterday after injuring his back (a recurring issue for him), but after some words of encourage and plenty of treatment he added a 67 to his first round 71 to grab a share of the lead with a round that included six birdies and a solitary bogey on the 12th.

Jason Day discusses quality of life, blowing in to balloons amid back issues at The Masters

Adam Scott was the first player to get to eight-under par after the 2013 Masters champion eagled the 15th, but he quickly gave a shot back with a three-putt bogey on the next. Even still, Scotts four-under 68 put him at the top of the leaderboard. 

Louis Oosthuizen made an exceptional up and down par save from the bunker on the 18th to become the fifth major champion in the clubhouse on seven-under-par after carding the second lowest round of the day. Oosthuizen opened his round with four birdies and a bogey on his front nine before more gains around Amen corner and another on the 15th pushed him in to the top spot. 

Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson in group one shot back

Tiger Woods said he felt like he played his way back in to contention with a four-under 68 on Friday, although he was left to rue several missed birdie chances that could have left him alongside the leaders. 

Woods had a turbulent start as he made three birdies and two bogeys on the front nine, but a lengthy birdie putt on nine would be one of several as he began to look like the Tiger of old - fist pumps and all - as he rolled in birdies on 11, 14 and 15 to get to six-under-par. 

"I feel like I played my own way back into the tournament," Woods said after his round. "I was just very patient today, felt very good to be out there doing what I was doing. This is now three straight majors that I've been in the mix and so it's good stuff.

Woods missed a putt from 9 feet on the 17th for birdie and another from 13 feet on 18, but he was quick to take the positives. 

"I missed a few putts out there but I'm not too bummed out about it because I hit them on my lines. So I can live with that. I can live with days when I'm hitting putts on my line and they just don't go in, that's the way it goes."

Dustin Johnson is in search of his second major title, and sits on six-under with Woods, Schauffele and South Africa's Justin Harding after he eased to a two-under 70. 

DJ opened his round with a bogey but made the most of the back nine, rolling in a long birdie putt for birdie on the 10th before adding birdies at both the par-five 13th and par-five 15th, which played as the two easiest holes of the day. 

"Very satisfied," Johnson said after his round "I feel like the conditions the last two days were difficult, a lot of difficult flag pins and it was a tough day out there today, and I felt like I played ‑‑ didn't play great, but I got it around.

"I need to get off to a good start. You know, just post a good number. As long as you're within a few of the lead going into Sunday, you always have a chance, especially around here. You can always make some eagles, you can make a lot of birdies if you're playing well"

dustin johnson

Xander Schauffele,  Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas among players to rally from disappointing first rounds to get in to red figures 

Xander Schauffele had the lowest round of the day on Friday as he carded eight birdies and a single bogey during his seven-under 65 to move from one-over to six-under for the tournament. 

"I felt like I did well all around," said Schauffele, who tapped in for birdie at the par-four 18th. "It was a bit softer so you could be a bit more aggressive on your landing areas or zones. I felt like yesterday I missed the putts I was supposed to make. And today I made most of the putts I was supposed to make as a pro. So much cleaner round."

Justin Thomas, who also posted a one-over 73 on the opening day, chipped in twice and eagled the 15th as he moved his way up the leaderboard. He would end up making a bogey on the final hole of the day, but at three-under-par the 2017 PGA Champion is very much in the mix, even if he did come off the course frustrated at missing plenty of chances. 

"I'm a bit frustrated right now," said Thomas. "I've played a lot better than 3‑under par for two rounds.  I drove it great yesterday.  I missed six or seven putts inside 12 feet yesterday.  And I didn't hit my irons as close today. 

 "I mean most of my birdies were ‑‑ I had two chip‑ins, a birdie and an eagle and the par‑5s I chipped it in there close.  I just am not really making any quality birdies, when I hit an iron in there 10 feet and make the putt.  I just need to tidy that up a little bit if I want to have a chance to win the tournament."

Jordan Spieth is one of the most consistent players to ever perform at Augusta National, but after an opening 75 (with a cracked driver), many were writing him off for this year's tournament. But Spieth recovered from an opening bogey in round two to finish at four-under for the day in a round that could have easily been a few shots better, and is currently six shots behind the leaders. 

"I feel really good about today's round. I mean as far as this tournament, I'm six back, if I can somehow cut it to three by Sunday, then I feel like I have a legitimate chance."

Justin Rose among susprising players to miss the cut at the Masters

World No.1 Justin Rose was tipped to perform well this week, but Augusta National once again proved good form heading in to the event and impressive past results don't guarantee success. 

The major champion really grappled with his driver off the tee, hitting just five of 14 fairways during his first round and seven of 14 in round two as he carded rounds of 75 and 73. 

And he wasn't the only unexpected player to make an early exit from the first major of the year.

Paul Casey, who had exceptional Masters form (T6-T4-T6-T15 in his last four starts) and a recent win at the Valspar to his form, was another surprise. He carded his worst ever major round on Thursday (a nine-over 81), and added a one-over 73 to end up at 10-over-par.

Recent past champions Sergio Garcia and Danny Willet also finished at four-over, while Par-3 champion and Masters rookie Matt Wallace proved the curse was alive and well after rounds of 75 and 77.

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justin rose

The MUST see moments from Round 2

From Zach Johnson accidentally hitting his golf ball on a practice swing to Kiradech Aphibarnrat falling over, Jon Rahm's outrageous shank and a security guard nearly wiping out Tiger Woods, it all happened on Friday at Augusta. 

First up is the most shocking, which came in as a late contender for the day's must see moments: After Tiger Woods hit his approach shot to the 14th whole, an extra enthusiastic security guard broke the no running rule and just about wiped out the 14-time major champion. 

Luckily he was unscathed, but it could have been a lot worse. 

If that was the most shocking, this was the most blooper worthy in the history of professional golf. Zach Johnson was making a practice swing on the 13th hole when he accidentally clipped his ball and it ricochetted off the tee marker. 

Naturally, it did the rounds of social media, to which playing partner Ian Poulter was delighted, and Johnson bashful. 

ZJ: "Yeah, that was a good one there. That's a first. I thought I had done it all but now I know I've done it all. Shoot, they got that?"

Speaking of shots we know players probably wish weren't captured by the camera's, here's an almight shank from Jon Rahm. Good news for him, he still made par. 

And then there was Kiradech Aphibarnrat... who took a tumble while trying to bend down and get a better look at his shot (which landed on the green)

Finally, you can't watch this... but it's still worth sharing the fact Rory McIlroy drove his golf ball in to a golf buggy!

Bernhard Langer would trade experience at Augusta for more distance; bemoans officials for putting him on the clock

Two time Masters Champion Bernhard Langer ensured he would make his 26th consecutive cut at The Masters after adding a level-par 72 to a first round 71 to finish at one-under-par for his first 36 holes. 

But when he was asked about experience playing a part in performance at Augusta National, Langer said he would rather swap it for the distance of his playing partners. 

"Yeah, it does help, but it doesn't help make up for hitting five more shots into every green than somebody else, you know?

"I'm hitting a 4‑iron and they're hitting a 9‑iron. I would rather hit a 9‑iron and have a little less experience"

bernhard langer

His comments on his distance also came alongside a complaint about being put on the clock during his round, stating that his group were waiting on every shot and he didn't know what they wanted them to do. 

"Seemed faster, but we played earlier so it's always faster earlier," Langer said of how he felt the pace of play was in round two. "It only takes for one group to have some trouble somewhere and it backs up. On the par‑5s, they're reachable for most of these guys, so you always have to wait at the par‑5s until they clear.

"They came over on the third hole and they told us we're ten minutes behind. Yeah, we waited ten minutes on the ‑‑ we waited 8 minutes on the tee shot on 2 and then we made it 4 minutes on the second shot on 2. That's 12 minutes. So no wonder we're ten minutes behind, all right?

"I mean that's just ‑‑ I don't know where they got their information from. They said you're ten minutes behind 10. I said, well, is that my fault? We can't play any faster. Want me to hit it over their heads? You'd think they'd have more common sense."