Rarely has the buildup to a Masters tournament seen so many dramatic storylines and through the first two days of this iconic tournament it hasn’t disappointed. Here our Masters Round 2 Recap.
With the threat of bad weather all week, it finally arrived during yesterday’s second round. With the wind starting to blow, play was abruptly stopped after two pine trees fell on the 17th hole. Thankfully nobody was hurt and the tournament will resume early this morning with almost half of the field still needing to complete their second rounds.
One man who was able to steer clear of the drama (and the weather) was Brooks Koepka. The four time major winner sits alone at the top of the leaderboard, leading on -12, three strokes clear of his nearest rival.
A winner last week on the LIV Tour, Koepka has played some sensational golf and through the first 36 holes of the tournament has dropped just one shot.
His game plan is clear, keep the ball out of trouble and attack the par 5s. His superb 67 yesterday saw him score three birdies and one eagle with all of those shots being picked up across the four par 5s. If he follows the same formula over the weekend a fifth major could well be his.
With Koepka already back in the clubhouse, his nearest challenger is Jon Rahm. Sitting at -9, three strokes behind, Rahm had just begun picking up some crucial momentum with birdies on the 8th and 9th and was about to start his back nine when play was abruptly halted.
With the threat of windy and cold weather over the weekend, Rahm may have to change his tactics today and play defensive golf to stay in touch with his American rival at the top of the leaderboard.
American amateur Sam Bennett is aiming to rewrite Masters history and become the first Amateur to ever don the famous green jacket. Bennett, playing his first ever competitive rounds at Augusta has put the notion to bed that amateurs can’t be successful on the undulating course. Showing form and a mentality beyond his years, Bennett has shot a pair of 68s and will start today just four off Koepka’s lead.
Much of the pre tournament chatter was focused on whether Rory McIlroy could complete the career grand slam and finally win the Masters. However, the Northern Irishman’s quest for history will need to wait another year after two desperately poor rounds saw him miss the cut.
Tiger Woods could suffer a similar fate. The fifteen time major winner is right on the cut line and is in danger of missing the cut at Augusta for the first time in his career. Woods still has seven holes of his second round to play and the golfing world will be hoping he can find some crucial birdies and stick around for the weekend.
Heading into the week many questioned whether a player from the LIV Tour could be victorious this week. With many believing the LIV representatives would be undercooked and unable to handle the Augusta test, Koepka has firmly dismissed both notions.
Sitting at -12, Koepka is on course to shoot the lowest ever winning score. The overwhelming favorite, many of his nearest rivals still need to finish their second rounds. With the promise of blustery conditions to come, his lead could stretch even further before he tees of for his third round. With many believing that his current score of -12 could already be enough, he is the player the rest of the field all need to beat.
Jon Rahm has been positioned as the second favorite. Currently three strokes behind, Rahm still has nine holes to play of his second round and will be hopeful of closing the gap on his American rival. The 13th and 15th holes represent huge birdie chances and Rahm will be wanting to take full advantage this morning and end his round closer to Koepka’s lead.
With Rahm and Koepka potentially setting themselves clear of the rest of the field, Collin Morikawa is currently third in the betting but will start today’s third round six shots behind Koepka.
Already in the clubhouse, Morikawa will need the putter to get hot if he is to fire himself into contention.
The undoubted value play of the day has to be Sam Bennett. Bennett could find himself in the final pairing today if Rahm struggles in the expected tough conditions. Priced at a huge +3500, that could be a steal for a man who looks like he belongs on this grand stage.
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