Hazel Irvine presents highlights from Augusta of the second day's play at the Masters. Commentary comes from Peter Alliss, Ken Brown, Andrew Cotter and Paul Azinger.
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Hello, the Masters may be the only men's major played on the same
course every year, but the story here is ever-changing and always
surprising. The opening day of the 81st tournament put conditions more
reminiscent of an Open Championship with swirling winds that scatter to
the four winds the chances of many of the world's top professionals.
Indeed, not a single member of the world top ten broke par, one a day
when Augusta played tougher than it had for a decade. It was a day when
the world number one was beaten, conceding defeat just before the
first tee. Jordan Spieth had his troubles with water again. And the
man who overtook him last year started clumsily, but the champion
recovered well. Three times a winner Phil Mickelson showed all his
experience and found his putter working well. An eagle on the second
just one of his highlights. Justin Rose has come close at Augusta
before I put himself in a strong position. Once again, Peter green,
as good as any in the field. For other home hopes it was a case of
the comebacks. Lee Westwood out in 3-over but the five Brodie once on
the 13th and sitting high on the leaderboard. Likewise, Rory McIlroy,
struggling to the turn and recovering on the homeward run. Two
Americans would finish out in front, one, William McGirt, last year's
tomorrow champion, looking steady in the swirling wind, and for a long
time his 69 threatened to be the only sub 70 round, until Charley
Hoffman did his thing. It seem feasibly could not miss. A 65, one
of the great rounds of the Masters. A long way clear, but still a long
way to go. It was a day initially dominated by the patrol of Dustin
Johnson and it became the story of the over 50s. 53, 52 and 54 occupy
the top three spots on the leaderboard. The impressive Hoffman,
who four shot lead is the largest around round his 1955, debutant
William McGirt, and Lee Westwood, whose remarkable charge raised hopes
of a breakthrough at last in what is his 76th major. Only 11 men broke
par, amongst them Fitzpatrick, Mickelson and Garcia. No player has
ever won by more than seven shots behind after round one, Rory McIlroy
is right number after an opening 72. No lead is safe at Augusta. See
Rory, Jordan Spieth and Greg Norman for details. A fascinating
second-round layer. Charley Hoffman was well aware that only two men
since 1985 upheld the first-round lead and gone on to win, but there
was no time to ponder on that for the 40-year-old, who was one of the
early starters. Out in the first pairing, William McGirt, and the
veteran Australian, Rod Pampling. Charley Hoffman but that four shot
lead in the company of Chris Wood and Ikeda. Rory McIlroy had a
mid-morning start with Hideto Tanihara and the impressive Spanish
newcomer, Jon Rahm. And handily placed Matt Fitzpatrick copies
Martin Kaymer and champion Jordan Spieth who showed his worst ever
score here, a 75, on Thursday. It is certainly not getting much easier
for this 93- strong field. It is fractionally warmer, but as Arnold
Palmer himself said, golf is deceptively simple and endlessly
complicated. Especially at Augusta where we have blustery, breezy and
tricky conditions with gusts of 25 miles an hour, testing both club
selection and nerve, on the super slick greens. A fast start for
William McGirt of North Carolina, an amiable personality. He won the
Memorial tomb at last year. The 4th hole is known as the Flowering Crab
Apple, but this is less apple and more peachy. He moves the forerunner
in slow but spectacular style. -- emus to 4-under. Danny Willett, the
defending champion, had another crack can round two. This is his
fifth shot. He signed for and eight, 5-over, and his defence could yet be
cut short. Sergio Garcia, at the same hole, enjoyed a rather
different experience than Danny. He has been pin sharp and pin high from
the middle of the fairway and this beautiful shot would be good enough
for birdie. Two under in this, his 74th major tournament. Could it
finally be the one? Here comes Charley Hoffman, began at 7-under
and muscled in on an opening birdie at the 2nd. Two putts would deliver
a first birdie of the day, 8-under, now. Garcia at the same hole, a
second. And the iron is working magnificently, carving this one down
the big hill and onto the green. His putter would do the rest. He has
picked up two shots in his first two halls and he charges to 3-under. His
playing partner Lee Westwood having dropped a shot at the 1st Peak
District back up again to go two under. The 43-year-old has two
runners-up spots at Augusta. He would love to go one better. Here is
how it looks. Hoffman preserving his four shot lead for now. Surgery on
the march. Those at five have still to get underway, and the only other
man making progress at the moment, Ryan Moore, so it is time to welcome
Andrew Cotter, Paul Azinger, Ken Brown and Peter Alliss. Thank you,
Hazel. Sergio Garcia after a beautiful tee shot. 3rd hole,
pitching up to the green. He is 3-under par. Zips it up. He usually
plays these quite beautifully. Steady, steady, steady. Going
further away. A nice shot, nearly, not bad. Bit of a cruel bounce. Tee
shot for Charley Hoffman. A great start on a cold, blustery day. And
that is an amazing shot. That is so difficult today. Although the flag
is not moving, that is right into the wind. Another chance for
Hoffman. That would be to get a 9-under. What a start from Hoffman.
It would go back to Garcia, putting on the third. A longish putt, nicely
struck, it is running nicely and that is 4-under, Sergio Garcia
4-under. After three calls on the second round. What a start, birdie,
birdie, birdie. -- three holes. A manatee shot here, McIlroy with his
second shot at the 2nd hole. -- a mammoth tee shot. That is good. Go
on. Yes, that will be for eagle. APPLAUSE
Lee Westwood at the 3rd. Two under par. This putt for par. He drops a
shot and goes back to 1-under par. That slid away to the right. An
unforced error. APPLAUSE
A wonderful chance for birdie at the 4th of Charley Hoffman. Straight in.
Oh, no, it has gone left. The first real mishap for Hoffman. After a
terrific second shot from Rory McIlroy at the 2nd, this is an eagle
putt, a whisker from left to right. It looks good. It looks very good,
no, it just slid away, that was for a three. It should be OK for a
birdie. He will have to wait and tap it in. Cleaning up after a short
missed birdie, he handles that nicely. Hoffman, through a difficult
stretch on the golf course, five, six, seven, eight and nine.
Hopefully tidying up at the 2nd, this worry birdie putt, he has now
gone to level par. -- this for a birdie putt. Drop one at the 1st and
picked it up again at the 2nd, level par. He shot for Charley into a
ferry bumper, and these bunkers are hard to play from, difficult to get
the ball in the greenhouse of any fairway bunker at Augusta. That is
an amazing shot. He will be really happy with that. Jumping up at the
14th and William McGirt. He is 4-under, but this long putt for a
par. Oh, put it away. He will knock that in and go back to 3-under par.
Just a spectacular shot from the fairway bunker at five. And he had
it, he had it, he knows it. But he remains at 8-under par. That's the
situation early on on the second day. Garcia with a bogey, par for
Westwood, but it is early days, but the conditions are rather tricky.
Hoffman at the moment five ahead. But this is a place where there are
lots of pitfalls. This is a par putt for Rory. Oh, boy. Almost as if he
was frightened by the Augusta wins. He just seemed as if someone let off
a firework in his trousers as he was about to putt. Something of an
untidy start, but still hanging on. Hoffman now at the 6th. Tricky pitch
onto this sloping green. Very fast, and it runs away. That has left him
with a putt with a 2.55 in three foot swing from left to right.
William McGirt here at 16. Miscued off the tee. But that was pretty
clever. He made that look easy. He will save par, the North Carolina
native. He remains 3-under. Charley Hoffman at the 6th. That never
looked like it, that is a dropped shot, he goes out to 7-under. Those
little putts and wins coming across, you know that everything has to be
struck absolutely 100% in the middle. McIlroy with his second shot
from far right, 455 yards, crosswind. The ball carrying. He has
done it. What are shot, what a player. That is a good look, right
there. He does play some wonderful iron shots, a joy to watch. Westward
from the front of the sixth. -- Lee Westwood.
You see how these greens can make you look foolish? That shouldn't be
happening, should? If that on your home course you would wonder if you
had stayed up and had too many fizzy drinks the night before! Michael
White for birdie at the 5th. This is about as good a place as you would
want to end up on that hole and he has got it! Perfect speed. A little
harder and it would not have gone. Hoffman for a bogey at the 7th. He
bogeyed six to drop a shot. This is to avoid dropping two. He needs to
make this to remain at 6-under par. That was well holed, but another
lost shot for par, and now his five shot lead down to just three. McGirt
has got to the 18th and he has found trouble. The bunker, third shot,
Greenside, flips it up, stop, stop, stop. Sometimes they stop, sometimes
they don't. It is doing its best to come back. Well, very good, just
moving under its body weight. Not bad. Hoffman at the 8th with his
third shot, just lofting it, pushing it through nicely. Oh, hello. A
complete mess it. We have all done that on our home course, haven't we?
Well, some, more than others! Surgery with a difficult par putt at
the 7th. -- Sergio. A fist pump out of surgery, and he is going nicely
at the moment. -- Sergio. The sixth green, McIlroy. Steady, steady,
though, steady! That is what we can -- that is what we call controlling
the spin. He knew exactly what was going to happen. And you can tell
from his demeanour he is not at all surprised. We are, he isn't! Put me
down for a two! This is our first look at Ryan Moore, a birdie putt at
13. And he's got it. Ryan Moore suddenly making a move up the board.
Now 1-under par. Started the day two over. McGirt at the 18th. Got out of
the bunker and bacteria. Finishes at two under par. That is pretty good.
But it is still early days. Charley Hoffman, this for par at the 8th
after a complete... From the middle of the fairway, and that right there
will give him a bit of a jolt to the system. A bogey like that will
certainly fire the nerves back up. He has got to collect himself now as
he heads to nine. This is a situation. And a quick word on the
clubhouse leader William McGirt, only his fourth major Championship,
a tie for tenth in the PGA Championship last year. He has a
taste of the spotlight. Very much in the thick of things today.
Yesterday, the dust in the same, today it is costing and bouncing
around more. The greens have picked up what a good bit of pace
overnight. It was tough. The runner wipes on the putting green so it was
hard to warm up, putting, but I will get some work in this afternoon. It
took me about six, eight holes to get the pace. It seemed like every
putt I thought was fast, I gave it too much respect, so we will get a
little work in on that this Back-to-back birdies now, this might
be very good from McIlroy. Move into the light out of the shadows. He has
left himself a kicker for par. Charley Hoffman at the 10th. Just
manages to scrape one in for another bogey. His fourth bogey of the day.
Very different yesterday when he had ten birdies his card. This is really
moving shadows of the tree. That is a good stroke from McIlroy. Keeps
the momentum of the birdies on the fifth and sixth. His tee shot
clattered about in the trees, so he's a long way back, Garcia at the
10th. What a break. Into the azaleas and popped out. Very fortunate. A
little landing area, too. Jon Rahm to this par-5. The green sits in
that gathering area with mounds to the left and right, and Jon Rahm,
straight down the middle, eight beautiful putt from the 22-year-old
Spaniard. Charley Hoffman and Sergio Garcia tied at the top one 4-under.
William McGirt with a very good round of 73 to follow up is 69. Ryan
Moore, a lone amateur back in 2005, along with Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm,
Soren Kjeldsen and Andy Sullivan, or just beginning their rows.
Fitzpatrick and Mickelson, heading out later. -- just beginning their
rounds. Charley Hoffman is going to hit a big high book, water to the
left. Issy turning it? It is a long way back. Uh-oh. Fortunately there
is a bit of moisture in the service otherwise that would have found the
water. Not a bad spot in the end, although he is looking at it
anxiously. Awkward for Garcia to flip over the bunker. Means the come
on a little bit, a lot of of it. -- needs to come. Well done, little
ball. Hoffman has chipped up to here.
Dropping another stroke. No. What a difference a day makes. He couldn't
miss yesterday. Dropping strokes at the 10th and 11th. The greens not
quite as lethally quick as they have been in the past but they will pick
up over the weekend. Garcia, to save par. That could've been worse, it
was loose off the tee, and he got away with the second shot, a little
bit. I will just about giving that one. -- give him that one. Ryan
Moore with his final hole of the day. 74 yesterday, and what looks
like 69 today. The man spigots. -- from Las Vegas. He played here as an
amateur. Not many players managed to do that.
APPLAUSE 1-under. 35 out. 34 back. Excellent.
A great grant from Ryan Moore. Sergio Garcia has been demoted on
this official leaderboard to wonder because his scorer the tent has been
put down as a seven instead of a five, because there seems to be some
confusion about which ball off the tee he has played, whether it was
his first ball or his provisional. We will keep you updated on that.
The man at the top, Charley Hoffman, needing to try and keep the wheels
on. Hoffman laying up on the 13th. He went for it in two yesterday.
This will test your nerves after duffing at the 8th. That is a nice
way to come back and that will be a birdie four the Hoff. It stops that
horrible run. Garcia has found the front bunker at the 12th. What a
cracking effort. He can't believe it has turned so much as it was slowing
up. Quite a deep bunker. Not much landing area for Rickie Fowler. You
little beauty, an eagle three, moves into red figures. It was travelling
when it struck the pin but it was a beautifully played shot. Lee
Westwood now, for eagle. Up the little ledge on the green, not
particularly fast. But ran on pretty well. The greens seem to be a little
slicker as they are drying up. He should tap in for his birdie to move
back to 1-under par. Casey, down the slippery, slightly sloped from the
left, Paul Casey. -- slidey slope. A beautiful place to watch from a
bank, and a nice start for Paul Casey. -- that bang. -- bank. He
will need this, the defending champion. It was a horrible start to
his round, quadruple bogey at the 1st, double bogey yesterday and
recover, but today, he is out on 41. That is serve another for Danny
Willett 's and he will be here on Sunday to present the green jacket
but I am not sure that he will be playing. McIlroy finding the back
bunker and this, for par. That was never online. Three birdies on his
card, now four bogeys. Assuming he nudges this in. He's hanging in
there at 1-over. It has been a lively start to the second round,
for Rickie Fowler, out of the bunker for an eagle at the 2nd. And the
birdie year, beautifully judged, Rickie Fowler making a move, par,
eagle, birdie start, 3-under. Well, the mystery is solved. Sergio Garcia
did indeed play his original ball at the 10th, not his provisional so the
triple bogey seven was in fact a bogey five. It has been cleared up
by the visuals and Sergio Garcia is back to two under, all is well. He
has made par at the 14th and here he is again at the 15th. Going for it
in two. Into the wind which has perhaps dropped a little bit. That
went off like a tracer, you could see it flying straight and true. It
just crept over the water. As fine a second shot as you will see at the
15th. Wonderful from Garcia with an eagle chance to come. The veteran
Fred Couples. Nice to see him playing after having back trouble
last year. Nice tee shot, just feathering 1-over the little bluff.
That came down like a bag of sugar. What a little beauty. My swan,
-- nice one, Freddie. Down the slope for Garcia, with the claw grip, do
your work. That is good, good, good. That is a birdie. Nice to have that
confusion cleared up about the tent, that will be a birdie to move to
3-under. It was justified, that supposed seven. And a birdie on the
15th. -- it was just a five. Right in the heart of the cup. What a
record he has here, the past champion. They love him here. Phil
Mickelson in trouble at the 3rd. Nice contact. Well, you can't teach
that, can you? That was fantastic. Took all the spin off it, on the
back foot. And up the hill to the final green for Charley Hoffman, 154
yards. You can see the wind through there, from left to right it blows.,
back,, back, will it go back in? Can't believe it. He's on the slope
but the wind is sort of holding it up there. Mickelson at the 3rd to
move to a couple under. It was never in doubt. Going for his fourth green
jacket. And it is looking ominous. Perfectly shot for Garcia with the
pin at the back left of this putting surface. My goodness. It is coming
down like the lunar module! That was a fantastic shot, down the breeze,
landing on the downslope, 5-star Raul Garcia, there. Charley Hoffman
about to show what his second should have done if it had spun back about
one foot or so, more. Well away, and the wind just seemed to be holding
up a little, Andrew. On that exposed part of the course. Back to Garcia
after that beautiful second shot. A little tap infra birdie, and in she
goes, well done. He really is playing quite beautifully. Just one
dropped stroke on the outward nine, none of them coming home, playing
well. 16th and McIlroy, has a testy one.
Going up the length. Beautifully played. Modern equipment and ball
and you can nick them from short range and that was a little honey.
Big putt for Hoffman and so too Danny Willett. In it goes. We
wouldn't wish him ill. 75 for Charlie Hoffman. 8-under at one
stage, slips back to 4. Still leader. Fred Couples, here he is for
a birdie at the 7th. Dropped a couple of strokes at the last hole,
the par-3. There may be snow on the roof, but there is a fire in the
hearth! Rose par-3, 4th. Watch this one go.
He is making it all right... No, good effort. Silky touch. Still it
wanders on. Adam Scott at the 9th for a birdie. Touches it down the
right, swings left and in! Well done. That was really going. Thank
goodness that went in, out in 32. That's quite splendid stuff.
The wind whistling off the left for Garcia. Second shot at the 18th.
Made a lovely sound. Go on! Has to trickle back. Doing nicely. Looking
as if five over will make the cut. This is for a bogey, Mickelson.
Rattles it in. Bogeyed the first and the fifth. A couple of birdies in
between. Slippery slimy putt this one, a
little downhill. If you are brave inside the left edge and firm, but
you have to be brave to do that. Otherwise it's just outside the left
edge which is where he is aiming. Is he aiming far enough to the left?
No. It was tricky. McIlroy at the 17th.
He's got one! Well done. It's been a mixed bag for McIlroy. Some
fantastic shots and a bit of all sorts thrown in. A round of 69, two
superb rounds. 71 yesterday and a strong winds, this morning it was a
bit cold. 69 today for 140. Joint leader with Charlie Hoffman. Could
it be his week? STUDIO: Charley Hoffman ten shots
higher today, 75. However, he is still at the top but he has company
with Sergio Garcia. McGirt tied in third place. Mickelson on the move.
McIlroy steady at level par for the tournament with one hole to play.
Jason Day, former world number one up there, as well. 1-under for his
round today. Let's hear from our co-leaders.
I enjoy when courses play tough and when the Masters plays difficult
because it means that the high quality shots are going to be
rewarded and you have to hit the ball the right way. So, usually if I
am in good form I can do that. So, I have always enjoyed those kind of
challenges. A different day today than yesterday, but how do you feel
about that score of 75? Yeah, I played all right. Began the round
played great, yesterday was going in. Today it seemed I was above the
hole instead of below. Above the hole at Augusta National it's a
struggle. Middle of the round it was tough, made good bogey putts and
finished up with a birdie and a punch of pars which was nice.
Justin Rose for a birdie and sweet as a nut. Playing quite beautifully.
Dropped a stroke at the last hole but recovered at the 5th. Not an
easy hole to birdie, the 5th, I can tell you.
McIlroy's second shot to the 18th. Although the flag is in a quite
comfortable position, we haven't seen all that many threes. Oh! Hit
the flag! Where has it gone? That was desperately unlucky. Off the
flag, 20, 30 yards off the green down the left side. Have it again,
that's not fair! Rickie Fowler now, third shot at the par-5, 8th.
Straightforward, pitch and run. Decides to pitch it all the way.
Doesn't quite get the stop he wanted but not bad.
Now the wind is fairly whistling across this green. All sorts of
things come into your mind but strike it nice and true and firm
and... Oh, my good God! He is as far away again as he started. Too hard
on that line. It was a straight putt if you are going to hit them that
hard. All because he hit the flag stick with his second. Desperately
unlucky really. This is for a bogey five.
Unlucky. Leaves the green with a nasty feeling. 36 out.
And 37 home. 73, one over par. Tricky putt to read this. It's
quicker than it looks. Ricky thinks it's a little left. Oh! He read it
beautifully. Double breaker. Mickelson's second shot at the 7th.
A good strike. Oh! Steady, steady. Go down the
hill. Yes, it's getting closer. Not bad.
STUDIO: Our co-leaders Hoffman and Garcia safely in the clubhouse but
it's Rickie Fowler we are watching and there is action there, 4-under
for the day for the man who made 27 birdies last week in Houston. He has
shown great form coming in here. Could it be Fowler's year?
A chance for a birdie, missed a shortish putt on the last green for
a birdie, Mickelson. But this is a fairly straight putt. Hit it well
and all the way a winner. Beautiful birdie three two bogeys, three
birdies. 2-under. Great work Justin Rose faces here.
Has to land it left of the flag to have a chance of getting it close.
Mind your spin now. Oh, what a shot that is! Beautifully played. Watch
out for Justin Rose this weekend. Thomas Pieters. Risky play from the
Belgian. Oh, what a shot! The equal of
Mickelson's shot. That is shot of the day from Thomas Pieters. Unsure
of what it was going to do, beautiful. Justin Rose hit a
magnificent shot here to the 9th. Played it past the hole with a lot
of spin. Now he has this right-to-left putt. For another
birdie. Yeah, good putt. Justin Rose making a move.
Mickelson, a long way down the 10th. Just 155 yards. Muttering away.
And lovely shot. Below the hole. Pretty much straight up towards it.
Now we will see if Pieters can pay it off after that magnificent shot
from the pine straw. And he has! Well, there won't be many threes at
the 13th today, but boy if ever there was a beautiful one, that
would be it. Wow! Now Mickelson down among the shadows
of the 10th green. This is about as nice a chance as you will get here
at the 10th. Oh, yeah, Phil Mickelson!
It's all starting to come to live here in the second round.
STUDIO: So far only two men have broken 70, Ryan Moore and Sergio
Garcia are co-leaders with Charley Hoffman. Thomas Pieters up there at
3-under par and Phil Mickelson is moving in the right direction. Very
ominous indeed. That gives you answer idea of the
terrain coming over the little brook that guards the right of the 13th, a
little downslope. So sweet. Lovely! Just caressed off
the turf. Not too much spin. Thomas Pieters at 14. You have to fly the
ball all the way to the hole here. He has that false front protecting
that flag. Oh, yes! Hit it right at the top of that was hill and that is
spectacular. As good as you can do without holing
it there at the 14th. Couples after that magnificent pitch into the
13th. In the front edge. He stepped after it as if he thought he hit it
firmly enough and he had. Now Thomas Pieters after a remarkable shot at
14. Oh, yeah! Suddenly Thomas Pieters now is tied
for the lead. Currently the leading amateur, at the final hole. That's
got to go back. This could be... Go on, accelerate down. Go on! It's
going to be close! Oh, no! Straightened out. He thinks it is in
with the roar of the crowd. What a shot. Adam Scott at 15. Third shot.
Another beauty. Lots of green to work with here for Ricky. Lites a
low clipper. All kinds of sauce on it. What a shot!
Adam Scott played a terrific wedge shot to here, let's see if he can
hole this. He has done it nicely. Two beautiful wedges on the par-5s
on the outward half. Look at that score card.
Rickie Fowler now for birdie. Just a formality. What a lovely putter he
has become. Unusual to see Mickelson hit a putt as poorly as that first
at the 11th. Oh, nearly. A dropped shot for Phil. Magnificent birdie
for Phil at the 10th but a three-putt bogey here. Now he will
head up to the dangerous 12th. Justin Rose, this is for a par at
the 12th. Through the green with his tee shot. A clumsy shot back and...
I thought he had done it again. He holed a monster putt for a par on
the previous green. That's a four. A shot dropped. Still going along OK.
Rickup Fowler at the 15th. Second shot. He boldly goes.
A good clean straight hit, bang! Sit, sit, sit. And that's why. Oh,
dear, dear, dear! That's gone right through, 30 yards in the water. So
Phil Mickelson. Skip, skip, skip. Oh! What a shot!
Hey, Phil! That was confidence there. Perhaps he was showing him
where the green was. His eyesight might be getting dodgy. I think he
was looking into the flag and couldn't see the flag, I think that
was the reason, he wasn't that confident. Having gone in the water,
this is Ricky's fourth. That a mighty good effort.
Up the little bank, closed the face because the ball is landing into the
grain, got it to hop forward a couple of times. Won't see many
better than that today. Mickelson with this tap-in here for
a likely birdie. It will have a little movement, though. Oh, it
almost got away! But it's in now. A sigh of relief for Mickelson I am
sure. Fowler faces a par at the 15th.
This will be some par if he can rattle this one in.
Stop, stop, stop! Justin Rose after a blast off the
tee around the corner, second shot here. Oh, what a shot! The best of
the day so far. Fowler, this for a six.
And the 15th. He has got it. Only one shot dropped.
Justin Rose. Just tapped it. That could have gone. Would have been
some kind of eagle there but an easy birdie for Justin Rose. Back on
2-under par. Just two off the pace. Rickie Fowler.
Oh! Just snuck over, but OK. A big putt for Mickelson. Kept his
score going nicely. Don't want to miss one of these. But he has.
He has, he has. Well, three putts at the 11th.
Missed putts and three putts there. Pieters third shot at the 18th.
Drove into the trees and came out to here. Wide of the green to the left.
Down the left side, let the... Go on, swing it. That could come back.
It might. It's happened before. And by golly it's happening again.
Well thought out. Over to the 16th. Rickie Fowler for
birdie. It's a slow putt up that hill.
Beautiful speed. Dead on line. He has got it and Rickie Fowler, a
quick bounceback from the bogey on 15. Back in the lead. Now Pieters.
Final hole. This is for a par-4. This is to stay with a share of the
lead. He has done it. Well done, sir.
35 the first nine, and home in 33. Very nice playing.
STUDIO: Thomas Pieters told us last year that a Ryder Cup experience
would prepare him for life at the Majors. It hasn't half. A star then,
a star now. Let's hear from him after his 4-under par round of 68.
When conditions are as tough and the course is tricky, how drain
something that mentally and physically? I am tired, believe me.
You kind of want to get done after nine, ten, you just want to get to
13 and 15 and have a good birdie opportunity. But I enjoyed it. I
have had a good laugh with Daniel and looking forward to the weekend.
Fred Couples now at 18. Come on, Freddie, one more good swing. Be
right, be right. It is right if it comes back now. It should do. Is it
something remarkable from Freddie Couples? Not his finest pitch on the
16th, this is to save par. These might be costly shots come
Sunday evening. Slipping just a little bit further away from the
lead. Mickelson back to 1-under par. Justin Rose all the way over the
back of the 15th. A couple of times into that slope. Beautiful shot.
Just a stunning shot from Justin Rose. He will leave himself the
uphill, he knows how good that was. Rickie Fowler on the 18th. Get in!
Get in, they cry. Cannot break free, he will not lead on his own. Justin
Rose for birdie. Spectacular shot to get to here.
Oh, yeah! Wonderful birdie there for Justin
Rose, gets back to 2-under par. Now 2 off the pace.
It's been a beautiful round of golf from Rickie Fowler thus far. No
birdie at the final hole. But his final stroke and Rickie Fowler will
sit in a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard going into the
weekend at the Masters. Missed the cut last year. Right in contention
in 2017. 67, the lowest round of the day.
STUDIO: Yes, that stellar round of 67 from Rickie Fowler equals his
personal best at Augusta. This is the first time he has ever led after
any round of a Major. Front-running is a new feeling even if it is in
company. Let's hear how he would describe it.
How much of a joy is it to be sitting where you are going into the
weekend? It's exactly where we wanted to be. You know, especially
with the conditions the last two days, really just didn't want to
take yourself out of the tournament. Go out there and play solid golf and
make sure you are in the right position for this weekend because
from what I have seen the winds are going to die down, the weather's
going to be good and if they get this golf course continuing to firm
out, there's going to be a lot of birdies, you are going to see eagles
with the wind being down and you don't want to be too far back from
the guys out front. So, in a great position but this tournament's far
from over. A highly motivated Jordan Spieth
smarting all year after events here at Augusta finishing off in the top
ten with a 4th birdie of the day and a round of 69. A stumbling finish
from Mickelson at the 17th, he scrambled a par at the 18th. A round
that promised so much, finishes in 73, but like Spieth he too is within
four shots. Former US Open champion Justin Rose, never missed a cut in
12 appearances, well, a tester for par at the last, goes begging. He
signed for 72 and will chase from three shots behind.
So, it's a four-way tie on 4-under. What a fascinating leaderboard this
is. So many stories waiting to be written perhaps about old-timers
like Couples are or first-timers like Pieters to real ever present
threats like Phil and indeed Spieth. There is something for everyone.
Only nine men under par including Justin Rose and lurking beyond,
Spieth and Scott, former champions, and McIlroy is only five behind in
that group at one over. Defending champion Danny Willett will be
around too but sadly only to present the green jacket to the new champion
on Sunday. His are not the only hopes blown away over the opening
couple of days. Ken Brown has certainly enjoyed the
opening days, especially from a European perspective. Marvellous
stuff played and notably from Sergio Garcia. He seems to be under
control. He is right in it. Wouldn't it be a fairytale story on what
would have been Seve's birthday if he was to win, which is on Sunday.
Most top fives in Major golf without winning those, he has 12 of those,
been so close so often. Yeah, he is there. His 71st consecutive Major
which is amazing and he has had his chances at the Open Championship.
But there's been marvellous shots played by him this week. He birdied
the first and second. This is at the third. This has occasionally been
his Achilles heel. Has a new putter in the bag. This was his second to
the 16th. Wachlt this drill off the clubface. Sorry, the five enth. The
green is flush. Shot high in the air. Gets it to land softly. One of
a number of wonderful iron shots he has played. That was a delight. Set
up the simplest of birdies. A little unlucky, because at the 17th he
played this Floats it miles in the air. He is
looking to the sky. A down breeze and watch how he gets it to grab.
That was one of the shots of the day. Very difficult. The ball
skidding off the downslope. It was a gem of an iron. Rory McIlroy, he
birdied the 17th and came to the 18th and thought he is in the
perfect spot. 140 yards left. Pin front right. Trying to pitch it past
the flag and use the slope behind. Drilled is in low and spun the club.
You are thinking this is on the money. So unlucky. Struck about five
feet up the flag and shot miles and miles away down. Watch where it
hits. If it misses the flag he will finish a yard away. Because it will
come back. Unlucky. A 72, 73 and could have been better. Thomas
Pieters who played so well in the Ryder Cup matches, gained
confidence. This was his marvellous approach at the 13th. Out of the
pine straw. Easy to slip and miscue and he picks it off like Phil
Mickelson did. The pin was on the left of the green and that set up
this eagle chance. Down the slope and left-to-right. A big roar from
the crowd. Lots to think about. This was a beauty. Eagle chance. Right
into the heart of the cup. 72, 68, he has looked to be playing
absolutely at the top of his game and enjoying his first Masters. . .
Composure and confidence at the Ryder Cup he has shown, it promises
so much. The Ryder Cup, you go as a rookie, nervous, can I do it on the
big stage? And he proproved he could. A number of players did that.
Jimenez, you thought, yeah, and from there he grew in strat ture. I think
Thomas Pieters has a good chance to win. -- stature. What a weekend we
will have. I am sure you will share it with us because our coverage is
live, full live coverage begins tonight.
Plenty of other options before that. If you are all ears for news and
live action Radio 5 live will oblige. It will be all change at
Augusta for Saturday. The ferocious winds will give way to flat, calm
conditions. The charge is on and we are back on in about five-and-a-half
hours' time. We will catch you very soon Father a great Saturday night
in at the Masters -- for a great Saturday night in at the Masters.
Hazel Irvine presents highlights from Augusta of the second day's play at the Masters. 2016's winner, Danny Willett, is hoping to become the first Englishman to claim back-to-back Masters victories since Sir Nick Faldo, who did so in 1989 and 1990. At the halfway stage 12 months ago, it was 2015 champion Jordan Spieth who led the way on four under par, with eventual winner Willet four shots off the lead.
Commentary comes from Peter Alliss, Ken Brown, Andrew Cotter and Paul Azinger.