• January 31, 2023

Masters 2021: Justin Rose leads at Augusta National, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson miss cut

Justin Rose has finished second in the Masters twice

-7 J Rose (Eng); -6 B. Harman (USA), W. Zalatoris (USA); -5 J. Spieth (USA), M. Leishman (Aus); -4 J. Thomas (USA), T. Finau (USA), B. Wiesberger (Ast), SW Kim (Kor), C. Champ (USA), H. Matsuyama (Jpn)
Selected others: -1 B DeChambeau (USA); level R. MacIntyre (Sco), S. Lowry (Irish), T. Fleetwood (Eng), M. Fitzpatrick (Eng); +1 T Hatton (Eng); +3 P Casey (Eng), I Poulter (Eng), P Mickelson (US)
Missed cut: +5 D. Johnson (USA), L. Westwood (Eng); +6 R McIlroy (NI)

Englishman Justin Rose leads the Masters into the weekend but saw his first-round lead at Augusta National reduced to one shot on Friday.

Rose led four strokes under par by seven after the opening round but has players lining up behind him after carding a par 72 level on day two.

The Americans Will Zalatoris (68) and Brian Harman (69) are six under par.

Jordan Spieth and Australian Marc Leishman are another setback. 10 players are now within three points.

World number 1 and defending champion Dustin Johnson, who won this major in November with a record 20 under par, missed the cut by five points, as did Englishman Lee Westwood, while Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy ended up six points ahead.

Only 12 players shot under par in the opening round, but more accessible pin positions and less wind made for better goal conditions on day two.

Rose is recovering to hold the top spot

Two-time runner-up Rose has experience leading the Masters, but has not yet been able to translate these advantages into victories at Augusta National.

This was the fourth time the 40-year-old had led the field on the second day, an achievement only achieved by six-time record champions Jack Nicklaus. Now he’s run or run a round seven times – most of them every player who doesn’t win a green jacket.

It took a recovery on the back nine to keep Rose in pole position after four bogeys, and a birdie saw his four-stroke lead shrink to one by eight.

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, who made six birdies in his first 10 holes, put the early lead in the clubhouse to four under par before Leishman got one better with a five under 67 win after starting the day at level par .

Rose sparked some of the form he showed Thursday by doing five consecutive pars on the back nine and then three birdies in four holes to keep the target under at seven.

“The finger was moving in the direction of the panic button, it was definitely a bad start,” he said. “I was delighted to turn it around and made some great swings around Amen Corner. I got aggressive on the 13th tee and felt that this was the turning point.

“Rarely have you put together a great round and backed it up with another the next day. My intention was to play freely and I did.”

Americans challenging

Will ZalatorisWill Zalatoris finished sixth at the US Open in his big debut last year

Zalatoris was a late participant in Augusta, having climbed into the top 50 in the world in February, but is heading into the third round by one stroke.

Aiming to be the first debutant to win the Green Jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller 1979, the 24-year-old finished the race with three consecutive birdies for a four-under-68-year-old who will finish him off with Rose on Saturday.

“Just being here is pretty cool,” said Zalatoris. “To be in the last group at the Masters on Saturday is a dream come true.”

He shares second place with fellow American Harman, who banged 17 and 18 for the second time in a row 69.

Spieth, who won the Texas Open last week to end a loss that dates back to his win at the 2017 Open Championship, is also competing at the Georgia venue.

The 2015 Masters Champion closed the gap to Rose on two shots with a four-under-68.

The 27-year-old three-time major champion has birded three of his last six holes after dropping his only shot of the day on the 12th par 3 course.

It is the third time that the American has opened the tournament with consecutive rounds under par. The previous two rounds resulted in a tie for second place in 2014 before winning the Green Jacket the following year.

Compatriot Tony Finau tied the second and also made six birdies, with bogeys at 12 and 18 where he signed for a six-under-66. He’s next to Justin Thomas at four under.

World number two Thomas was also out for a 66 before dropping his first stroke of the day on the final hole, unable to convert a three-foot par putt.

US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau found form after the fight on opening day, pitching a five-under-67 player that contained seven birdies when he moved to a subpar for the week.

But four-time major champ Brooks Koepka, who underwent knee surgery last month, missed his first major cut since the 2013 Open Championship after finishing five over par.

Kim damaged putter frustrated

Kim Si-wooKim Si-woo had to putt with his three woods for the last four holes

South Korean Kim Si-woo is in close proximity to the lead after a three-under-par-69 player put him under four on day two.

That’s despite the fact that the world number 49 frustrated damaged his putter on the 15th. He proceeded to par with his three woods and then used the same club to parry the remaining three holes.

The Japanese Hideki Matsuyama also belongs to the group of six players with four under par after a one under 71, which included an eagle from the edge of the green with par 13.

Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who carded a two-under-70 card, and Matthew Fitzpatrick are seven shots back, as is Scottish debutant Robert MacIntyre, who made five birdies in a 70 himself on Friday.

Jack

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