McIlroy rues cruel ricochet that leaves him five back

Apr 09, 2017, 02:03
McIlroy rues cruel ricochet that leaves him five back

As the top-ranked player amidst the current crop of contender in Augusta, Fowler is in a prime position to secure his first major title.

Even with a 65-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, Els shot an 83 on Saturday.

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The Masters' biggest leaderboard logjam in 44 years could begin to get sorted out now that the four co-leaders have teed off.

Sergio Garcia attempted to play down the magnitude of ending the wait for a first major after taking a share of the lead at the Masters. He was the first to catch Hoffman, who led by four shots after the first round. I couldn't be aggressive with the putter because I was always just above the hole.

"Today was a really good day; I started 10 back and I'm now in position". However, he eventually found his original ball and played from there, thus incurring a bogey.

Once the error was discovered, Garcia was put back at 2-under. A few holes later, however, it was changed to 1 under on the scoreboard, and Garcia pointed to the board behind the 13th green.

Though it remains one of the world's more exclusive clubs, Augusta National does still invite a number of amateurs to compete, giving them a rare glimpse of the high life.

Eyes will be peeled at the trio tied for 10th at even par 144, all past Masters champions: three-time victor Phil Mickelson (73), who admittedly made a mess of the finish with three bogeys in his last six holes; 2015 champion Jordan Spieth (69), who played his last six holes bogey-free, with three birdies; and 2013 champion Adam Scott (69), who joined Spieth and Couples in making a birdie at the last.

So is Couples, reprising his uncanny knack of contending here year after year. It's going to be a fun weekend.

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Sergio Garcia plopped down at the podium of the new press conference room at the Masters. He shot 80-81 to sit at 17-over par. I had some easy pars that I made bogeys on. On 11, his second shot neared a pond but held up, and Hoffman couldn't get up and down.

Hoffman will be in the final group going into the weekend at the Masters for the second time in three years, with one big difference. Couples led after the opening round in 2010.

"It was just going to be, 'Kind of try to hang on and make sure that you don't take yourself out of the golf tournament, ' " Rickie Fowler, one of four tied for the lead at 4 under par, said Friday.

Rory McIlroy had some great swings Friday afternoon, hit some great shots and had a fine afternoon. None of them are among the six players who make up the final three twosomes. He's looking to complete a career grand slam with a Masters victory.

Game on at the 81st Masters Tournament.

This is his 19th Masters appearance and Garcia had never previously registered three birdies in a row on those first three holes.

Moore's bogey-free round in the brutal, wind-swirling conditions led to a 3-under 69, leaving him at 1-under par at the midway mark of the Masters Tournament after opening Thursday with a 2-over 74. Still, it's gotten Garcia into a tie for second, four shots behind Charley Hoffman.

Weather experts are predicting warmth and calm for Augusta National on Saturday and Sunday. The Quail Hollow resident has missed the cut in three of his six Masters, and his best finish was a tie for 28th in 2015. "I've had a lot of good finishes here, and my goal is to keep fighting with these guys".

HEADING HOME: Defending champion Danny Willett made a snowman at the first hole and never quite recovered.