AUGUSTA, Ga. — Round 2 of the 2019 Masters was a leaderboard rollercoaster. Co-leader Bryson Dechambeau dropped outside the top 15 with a 3-over 75, while Francesco Molinari and Jason Day — who shot matching 2-under 70s on Thursday — made moves straight to the top of the leaderboard by again posting the same score: 5-under 67s on Friday. They’re joined by a group of big names tied for the lead going into the weekend with Adam Scott, Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen, who are all 7-under.
The biggest mover up the leaderboard didn’t come from that group, though. Xander Schauffele made the largest leap by following up a 1-over 73 with a 7-under 65. He launched himself from seven strokes back to one behind and tied for sixth place. Dustin Johnson, Justin Harding and Tiger Woods are all knotted with Schauffele in the standings ahead of Saturday at 6 under on the tournament. Woods went 4 under on Friday, missing a couple short birdies but.
Let’s take a look at the clogged leaderboard and the contenders as we prepare for what figures to be a fascinating Moving Day in Augusta.
T1. Francesco Molinari (-7): There’s no such thing as a perfect round, but there is such a thing as a clean round, and Molinari played one. He played all 18 holes bogey-free and turned in a 2-under 34 on the second nine to complement a magnificent 3-under 33 on the first nine.
T1. Jason Day (-7): Day carded a 5-under 67 aided by a half-dozen birdies and a near-bogey free round. His one and only miscue came on the par-3 12th, but he responded by firing off three birdies over the next four holes to finish a strong day overall. Day threw out his back on Thursday, so there’s still some concern over whether he can withstand the pain (an ongoing issue for him), but he looked to be in tip-top shape on Friday.
T1. Brooks Koepka (-7): Koepka began the day with a share of the lead, and that’s where he ended it, though he cooled after a hot start on Thursday. Koepka shot a 1-under 71 on the day, which could have been much worse after a shaky start in which he went birdie, double-bogey, birdie-bogey. He settled down from there and played the final five holes at even par, and he managed to gather himself for a 2-under 34 on the second nine.
T1. Adam Scott (-7): Slow and steady thrust Scott into contention Friday. He began his round with seven consecutive pars before firing off three birdies in his next six holes. He then carded an eagle on the par-5 15th and followed it up with a bogey on 16. He struck the ball really well, didn’t make any crippling mistakes and let his putter guide him. That’s a formula that has won him a Masters before, and it’s one that could win him another this weekend if he continues to play at this level.
T1. Louis Oosthuizen (-7): Have a day, Louis. From outside the top 10 to T1, his formula for success was to go low early and often. He began his round with four birdies in his first seven holes and carded matching 33s on his first- and second-nine to get in at 66.
T6: Dustin Johnson (-6): D.J.’s resiliency paid off, as he opened the day with a bogey and didn’t card another. He got better as the day progressed, too, much like the rest of the field. Best of all: He took advantage of his strength and distance off the tee box by carding birdies on the two par 5s on the second nine. His 3-under 33 on those holes aided him to a 2-under 70 on the day.
T6. Tiger Woods (-6): Judging by the buzz about Augusta, Woods was the biggest mover of the day. Not quite — but pretty close. He carded six birdies, three on the first nine and three on the second, finishing with a 4-under 68. If not for a few missed putts from short distance, he could easily be entering the weekend in sole possession of the lead.
T6. Xander Schauffele (-6): Schauffele had a meteoric rise on the leaderboard Friday thanks to a clean round that left him with only one bogey on the scorecard, which came on hole No. 1. He birdied all four par-5s and one-upped his first nine score of 33 with a 4-under 32 on the second nine. His 7-under 65 was the best score of the day.
T6. Justin Harding (-6): Harding shot a 3-under 69 for a second consecutive day. If he had started the way he finished, we could be talking about the Masters favorite, too. After opening the first 11 holes at 1 over, he ripped off five birdies over his next six holes to make up for a good-not-great start. A bogey on 18 might be a momentum-killer, but his long-handled putter is swinging with confidence going into the weekend.
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