World top three tied for lead in major for first time as Masters hots up
The world’s top three golfers are tied for the lead at the halfway stage in a major, making the delayed 84th Masters well worth waiting for.
Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, the No 1 and No 3 respectively, had already posted nine-under-par totals yesterday and were joined by second-ranked Jon Rahm as the second round was completed at Augusta National this morning.
That made it a five-way tie for the lead - as was the case in the 2019 event won by Tiger Woods - after Mexican Abraham Ancer and Australian Cameron Smith also posted a 135 aggregate on Friday.
Others still to finish their second circuits included 2018 winner Patrick Reed, who moved into a big group on eight-under, and defending champion Woods, who is handily-placed on five-under.
Bidding to land back-to-back majors after his US Open win at Winged Foot in September, Bryson DeChambeau just scraped into the final two rounds on level-par after finishing bogey-bogey.
Forty years after Seve Ballesteros claimed the first of his two Green Jackets, Rahm stepped up his bid for a maiden major victory by covering the six holes he had remaining in one-under to card a six-under 66.
“I like to look at the leaderboards to see what is going on and you have some top players playing great golf, so it should be fun to watch,” said Rahm as he looked ahead to the final 36 holes.
After completing his morning’s work in similar fashion with a one-shot improvement, five-time winner Woods reported that the course had finally started to dry out. “It has changed overnight,” he said. “The greens are much quicker.”
DeChambeau, who lost a ball in a plugged lie at the third in the early part of his second round on Friday, carded four birdies in five holes on the back nine to put himself comfortably inside the cut before his untidy finish.
After failing to get up and down from through the back to save par at the last, he found himself on the wrong side of the cut-off line before it eventually fell at level-par.
That was a relief to the 27-year-old, but, in the immediate aftermath of his round, DeChambeau revealed he’d been fighting dizzy spells for a couple of days and feared he might have had COVID-19.
“On Thursday night, as I kept going through my round, I started getting a little dizzy. I don't know what was going on, a little something weird,” he said.
“So I got checked for COVID last night, and I was fine, nothing. I don't know what it is, but these past couple days, I've felt really, really odd and just not a hundred per cent.
“I just feel kind of dull and numb out there, just not fully aware of everything, and making some silly, silly mistakes for sure.”
With the top 50 and ties making the cut on this occasion in a change announced earlier in the week, a total of 60 players progressed.
They included amateur duo John Augenstein and Andy Ogletree, as well as Bernhard Langer as the 63-year-old German and two-time winner became the oldest player in the event to make the cut.
Sandy Lyle, the only Scot in the field, finished bogey-bogey in his 39th appearance as he missed out on seven-over.
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