Justin Rose squandered a four-shot benefit, then birdied three of the final six holes to rebuild a two-stroke lead in Friday’s second spherical of the eighty fifth Masters.
The 40-year-old Englishman overcame a nightmare start to fireplace a degree par 72 and stand on seven-under 137 after 36 holes at Augusta National.
“Today, ultimately, was a fairly good result in the end,” Rose stated. “To be honest, I felt comfortable and fairly confident all day.
“Making a couple of birdies simply makes you are feeling good on the market for certain.”
Australian Marc Leishman shot 67 to stand second on 139 with Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, also seeking his first major title, third in the clubhouse on 140 after a 66 after both challenged for the lead.
“Couldn’t be extra excited,” Leishman said. “This is the place I wished to be in.”
Rose, twice a Masters runner-up, fired his lowest round in 59 tours of Augusta with a 65 on Thursday, defying firm and fast conditions to lead by four, matching the largest 18-hole Masters edge since 1941.
But reigning Olympic champion Rose began Friday with four bogeys in his first seven holes, briefly losing the lead to Leishman before a sparkling late fightback put him back on top.
“It was only a traditional day at Augusta National. When you are only a foot or two off you may find yourself struggling,” Rose said. “But I’m nonetheless main so I’ll take pleasure in it and hold going.”
Rose, whose only major title came at the 2013 US Open, stumbled badly in Friday’s cool conditions, opening the door to rivals.
“With somewhat little bit of overcast, it feels somewhat bit softer, somewhat extra give,” Wiesberger said.
Rose found trees to the right off the first tee on his way to an opening bogey for the second consecutive day.
At the 575-yard par-5 second, Rose chipped his third shot within three feet of the cup and rolled in the birdie putt.
Trouble returned, however, at the par-3 fourth and sixth and par-4 seventh holes.
On four, Rose was short of the green and his putt up a rise barely clung to the top edge. From there he putted to three feet and made bogey.
At six, Rose missed the upper tier of the green and his second shot rolled back to him. He sank an eight-footer to rescue bogey.
At seven, Rose sent his approach into a bunker and missed a 15-foot par putt, rescuing bogey from five feet.
Rose, ranked 41st, could only muster pars at eight through 12 on Friday, after an eagle and three birdies Thursday, but those helped him “cease the rot,” he said.
At 13, Rose had a tap-in birdie, then holed a 20-footer to birdie the par-4 14th and reclaim the lead alone.
Rose hit an 8-iron to 15 feet at the par-3 16th and holed the birdie putt and two closing pars left him 9-under on the back nine for two rounds.
“I’m going to hold hitting photographs,” Rose said. “I’m not going to fear a couple of rating.”
Leishman opened with three straight birdies and answered a bogey at the par-4 11th with birdies at the par-3 12th and par-5 13th and another at the par-5 15th to briefly seize the lead alone.
“I’m excited for the subsequent two days however there are a number of good photographs which have to be hit and putts to be made to put myself in good place on Sunday,” Leishman said.
“Anyone who makes the lower has an opportunity.”
World number 54 Wiesberger, without a top-10 finish in 24 major starts, had four birdies in the first five holes, added another at the par-5 eighth and rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-4 10th.
“In the primary 10 holes, I holed a number of putts and obtained a very good spherical began,” Wiesberger said. “I’ve been taking part in actually strong golf. I saved the errors off the cardboard.”
Wiesberger additionally made bogey at 12 and birdied 15 in one of the best of twenty-two Masters rounds.
– Finau, Thomas on fireplace –
Fighting to make the lower to the low 50 and ties have been top-ranked defending champion Dustin Johnson, four-time main winners Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy and England’s Lee Westwood.
Second-ranked Justin Thomas, who can overtake Johnson for world primary with a victory, was on 5-under after 16 holes in a bogey-free spherical.
Also at 5-under with two to go was fellow American Tony Finau, who had six birdies and an eagle towards a lone bogey.