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Accuracy is still key at Augusta


Justin Rose noticed his lead shrink from 4 pictures after the primary spherical to at least one shot after the 36 holes of the eighty fifth Masters Tournament. There are 20 gamers inside six pictures of the lead and 12 inside 4, setting the stage for an fascinating weekend at Augusta National Golf Club.

Augusta National is playing fast and firm and if the rain holds off – that’s a big ‘if’ – the forecast is calling for gusty circumstances, which might trigger much more havoc.

“When there’s very little friction on the greens, the wind affects the ball more than you think, I mean, more than any of y’all would imagine out here,” Jordan Spieth mentioned. “It just gets very difficult to make a lot of putts. That’s why the scores will be, I think, more challenging over the weekend if we don’t get any rain.”

Here are 5 issues we realized as we sit up for the ultimate two rounds:

Greens Gainers

Jordan Spieth hits his tee shot on the twelfth gap throughout the second spherical of The Masters golf match. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

From 12 months to 12 months, essentially the most correct predictor of Masters excellence is greens in regulation. Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson led the sphere on this class of their victories the final two years. Jordan Spieth praised his ballstriking over the ultimate six holes Friday, and through the first two rounds nobody has found the green on approach more frequently. The 2015 champion has hit 30 of 36 greens, yet one more than Xander Schauffele (3 beneath), and trails chief Justin Rose by two pictures. Rose (77.8%), Justin Thomas (77.8%) Hideki Matsuyama (75%) and Tommy Fleetwood (75%) have additionally hit at least three-fourths of the greens in regulation to this point. Don’t be stunned if all six dangle across the leaderboard by means of the weekend.

Tony Time?

Tony Finau hits his tee shot on the 4th gap throughout the second spherical of The Masters golf match. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Missed probabilities on the greens within the closing spherical have saved Tony Finau (4 beneath) from profitable his second PGA Tour title in recent times. Since taking the Puerto Rico Open in 2016, he’s completed within the top-10 31 occasions together with a trio of top-5s in 2020-21. So far, he’s solved the Augusta National placing surfaces, main the sphere in common putts per inexperienced in regulation (1.47) and common putts per gap (1.39). It’s additionally price noting he’s missed twice in 30 makes an attempt inside 5 ft. If he can preserve his poise with the putter, the lengthy wait might have a significant reward.

Weekend Warriors

Bryson DeChambeau reacts to his tee shot on the 4th gap throughout the second spherical of The Masters golf match. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Of the 31 gamers inside seven pictures of the lead, there’s firepower amongst Saturday’s earlier starters. Only three of the highest 11 gamers have gained a significant. Plenty of candidates might thrive in calmer circumstances earlier than the wind howls late within the afternoon. What if U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau’s 67 on Friday, which he closed with birdies on 17 and 18, supplied the arrogance required to make a weekend cost? He’s six pictures again. Reigning PGA champion Collin Morikawa (2 beneath) has proven ample firepower the primary two days, making 10 birdies. If he can get rid of errors, he may very well be in competition by the second 9 on Sunday. Viktor Hovland opened the match with a triple bogey, then performed the following 35 holes in 5-under to surge inside 5 pictures of Rose. The Masters report for largest comeback over the ultimate 36 holes is eight pictures in 1956 by Jack Burke Jr.

Zoeller to Zalatoris?

Will Zalatoris watches his putt on the thirteenth gap throughout the second spherical of The Masters golf match. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Only three Masters rookies have claimed the inexperienced jacket. Horton Smith Jr. within the first Masters in 1934 (when everybody within the area was a Masters rookie), Gene Sarazen in 1935 (he had a battle in 1934) and Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. After opening rounds of 70-68, Will Zalatoris, a 24-year-old product of Wake Forest, tees off in the final pairing Saturday, one shot out of the lead. Zalatoris, forty sixth on the planet, has been some of the constant gamers in skilled golf over the previous 18 months. He’s completed within the prime 25 in 10 of 14 PGA Tour begins within the 2020-21 season. Over the primary two Masters rounds, he’s hit 69% of the greens, 75% of the fairways and putted as soon as. Strange issues can occur to a newcomer within the final group on a Saturday, however don’t be stunned if Zalatoris hangs round. He’s seasoned past his age.

Fierce Fifth

Xander Schauffele hits his tee shot on the fifth gap throughout the first spherical of The Masters golf match. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The 495-yard par-4 No. 5, lengthened earlier than the 2019 Masters, continues to be a formidable foe for any area. After 36 holes, it’s essentially the most tough check at Augusta National, taking part in to a 4.446 stroke common and producing extra double bogeys and others (9) than birdies (5). The gap location Friday on the entrance left quadrant of the inexperienced plagued the individuals prefer it has in every of the final three Masters.

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