Scheffler ,Homa & DeChambeau share lead after second round – The Masters

Round 2

World No 1 Scottie Scheffler remains favourite for victory at The Masters after moving into a share of the halfway lead at Augusta National, where Tiger Woods made history and Rory McIlroy stuttered into the weekend.

Scheffler carded a level-par 72 in strong winds at Augusta National to remain at six under and make it a three-way tie at the top with Ryder Cup team-mate Max Homa and overnight leader Bryson DeChambeau.

Nicolai Hojgaard sits in fourth after a round where only eight players break par, while Woods’ level-par 72 on a marathon Friday – where he played 23 holes – saw him secure a record-breaking 24th consecutive cut at the opening major of the year.

McIlroy also progressed but saw his Grand Slam hopes suffer a setback after failing to register a birdie in a five-over 77, dropping him 10 behind, while defending champion Jon Rahm also struggled to a second-round 76 to fall back to five over.

DeChambeau described the windy conditions as some of the most difficult he has faced.

Scheffler made an early birdie at the second but three-putted the fifth to card his first bogey of the tournament, before replying to a blemish at the seventh by birdieing two of his next three holes to get to seven under.

The 2022 champion was unable to get the same lucky break with his approach into the par-five 13th as he did yesterday, with his ball finding the water and resulting in a bogey-six, then closed with five pars to remain in a strong position to win The Masters for a second time in three years.

“It was extremely challenging,” Scheffler said. “The winds were up very high, and it blows from everywhere out here. I think even par this afternoon was a really good score. Everything out there is extremely difficult when it’s this windy.”

Homa will play in the final paring on day 3.

DeChambeau held a one-shot advantage following a weather-delayed conclusion to the first round, with 27 players returning on Friday morning to finish after a two-and-a-half-hour delay the previous day.

The former US Open champion failed to get up and down from the back of the green to save par at the par-three fourth but holed from 20 feet at the seventh, then cancelled out a bogey at the 11th by birdieing the next two holes of Amen Corner to briefly go two clear.

DeChambeau dropped a shot at the 14th hole and then three-putted the par-four last to finish with a closing bogey and drop back alongside Homa, who had set the initial target on six under after mixing two birdies with one bogey in an impressive one-under 71.

Masters debutant Hojgaard was also on six under until finishing a second-round 73 with back-to-back bogeys, dropping him to fourth, with Collin Morikawa sharing fifth with Cameron Davis and Ludvig Åberg a further stroke back after firing the lowest round of the day with a three-under 69.

Woods made history by making a 24th consecutive cut at The Masters.

Woods played 23 holes on Friday, the first time he has played more than 18 competitive holes in a day since 2019, with the 15-time major champion bogeying two of his last five holes of a first-round 73 before producing a battling display in the second round.

The five-time Masters champion posted four birdies and as many bogeys during a level-par 72, keeping him in contention for an unlikely victory push, as other star names struggled in the winds to make it through to the weekend.

McIlroy’s birdie-less round is just his third ever recorded at The Masters, with the Northern Irishman struggling in the conditions, while Rahm looked set for an early exit until back-to-back birdies from the 15th.

McIlroy’s quest for a green jacket looks set to continue for another year.

“Just a really tough day,” McIlroy said. “Scoring was very difficult. I mean, most of the field couldn’t really get anything going. It was just a matter of trying to hang in there as best you could.”

Rahm did make a penultimate-hole bogey to leave him tied-44th on five over, while Justin Thomas dropped seven shots over his final four holes to miss the cut but also allow those on six over to sneak through to the weekend on the cut mark.

Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama both benefitted from Thomas’ blunder, while US Open champion Wyndham Clark, FedExCup champion Viktor Hovland, reigning Open champion Brian Harman, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson all made early exits.

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