Day 2 at Augusta
Keep that card
Marc Leishman: Playing in front of the biggest crowd of patrons — hey, that’ll happen when you’re grouped with a guy named Tiger — the Aussie showed no fear. He turned in three consecutive birdies to start the round and added a birdie and an eagle on the back nine. He’s at 7 under, trailing red-hot Patrick Reed by two.
Toss that card
Charl Schwartzel: The 2011 Masters champ made bogey on three of his first five holes. He then finished Friday’s round with a double bogey on 17 and a bogey on 18 to close out a 6-over 78 and miss the cut by a stroke.
On the course with ...
Dustin Johnson: Playing the par-3 16th on Friday, Johnson landed his approach just off the back of the green. His second shot, with his putter, rolled 45 feet past the hole and set up a long, uphill putt that he turned into an improbable par. It helped Johnson finish the day 3 under. Yet that shot was not the only highlight of the day. Rickie Fowler saved par on No. 6 with a 66-foot putt. Another memorable shot was Russell Henley’s 82-footer for eagle on No. 15.
It’s not your imagination. There are certain players that just get along with Augusta National year after year. Fred Couples on Friday made the cut in his 30th Masters, tying Gary Player for the second most in tournament history. Only six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus (37) made more cuts at Augusta. Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, started the day at even par and ground out a 2-over 74 in the second round. Fellow Champions Tour players Bernhard Langer (74-74), a two-time Masters winner, and 2000 champion Vijay Singh (71-74) will also be around for the weekend. It’s Langer’s 25th made cut at the Masters.
• Patrick Reed has birdied all eight par-5 holes through two rounds.
• Jordan Spieth took 33 putts, the most ever in his career at Augusta.
• Justin Thomas birdied three in a row on the back nine to get into contention at 3 under. Good thing. He ranks third in third-round scoring average on the PGA Tour this season and first in final-round scoring average.
• Nearly 3 million viewers tuned in for ESPN’s opening-round coverage, an increase of 40 percent from 2017, according to Nielsen Fast National data.
Par-4, 445-yard No. 1: The opening hole saw highs and lows, with Reed making one of only 10 birdies at the first on his way to a 6-under 66 that gave him the midway lead. First-round leader Jordan Spieth made double bogey on the opener and shot 74.
Quote of the day
“I’ve always been comfortable around the lead. It’s a place that I’m thankfully quite familiar with.”
— Rory McIlroy, sitting at 4 under and perhaps sending a message to the rest of the pack at the top.
Tweet of the day
“Patrick Reed is just yelling “44 REGULAR” as he makes the turn. Patrons are terrified.”
— UPROXX Sports writer Robby Kalland, predicting some new threads for Reed (@RKalland).
It’s moving day at Augusta, with a crowded, talented leaderboard and dark clouds in the forecast just to make things even more interesting. Should be a good day to get out of the Minnesota cold and watch the action. Ch. 4 picks up coverage at 2 p.m.