The Latest: McGirt has solid start to 2nd day of Masters
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) The Latest on the second round of the Masters on Friday (all times local):
Jordan Spieth is on the move.
The 2015 Masters champion seemed out of contention after his opening 75, which included a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 15th hole. He was 10 shots behind leader Charley Hoffman and knew it would be an uphill climb to get back in the mix.
A day later, Spieth has cut his deficit by more than half. He had three birdies in his last six holes to shoot a 69 and move within four strokes of leaders Hoffman, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Pieters and Rickie Fowler.
Few have had as stellar a start to their Augusta National careers as Spieth, who's finished second, first and second in his three appearances.
It's a four-way tie for the top at the Masters, with Thomas Pieters and Rickie Fowler joining Charley Hoffman and Sergio Garcia late in the second round.
Pieters is a 25-year-old Belgian playing his first Masters. He had five birdies in his first 10 holes Thursday to move in front at 5 under. However, two double-bogeys down the stretch sent him back to even par.
But Pieters was at it again in the second round, with an eagle on the par-5 13th and a birdie on the 14th to catch Hoffman and Garcia, who were both in the clubhouse at 4-under par.
Fowler joined the quartet with his birdie on the 13th hole.
The group is two shots clear of the next four ties at 2-under, which includes three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, 1992 green jacket winner Fred Couples and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose.
Here comes Lefty.
Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson had his fourth birdie in the second round on the 10th hole to move into a tie for second place at 3-under par with Rickie Fowler and Thomas Pieters.
Mickelson is seeking to become just the fourth golfer to win four Masters, joining Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. Mickelson also would become the oldest winner at Augusta National. A victory by the 46-year-old would surpass the mark of Jack Nicklaus, who had turned 46 less than three months before his Masters win. Mickelson will turn 47 in June.
He won the green jacket in 2004, 2006 and 2010, part of his five major championships.
Bye, bye, Bubba? Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson had a dreadful 78 on Friday and, at 8-over par, left himself on the wrong side of the cut line at Augusta National.
Watson won this major in 2012 and 2014 but has struggled here the past three years. He finished 38th while trying to defend his title in 2015, then 37th a year ago.
Watson never got on track this time, shooting 74-78. On Friday, he opened with five bogeys on his first six holes and could not recover. Watson had a brief flourish, with consecutive birdies on the eighth and ninth holes. Yet three more bogeys on the back nine appeared to have sealed his fate.
Without a stunning reversal over the next few hours, Watson will miss the cut for the first time in nine career Masters appearances.
Sergio Garcia rallied from six shots behind when the day began to move into a tie for the top at the Masters.
Garcia had six birdies on the way to a 69 and was tied with first-round leader Charley Hoffman midway through the second round. The duo was two shots in front of William McGirt and Rickie Fowler.
McGirt shot a 73 while Fowler still had 11 holes left to play.
Garcia had a chance to take the lead alone, but he missed a 6-foot putt for birdie on the 18th green.
Hoffman held a four-shot lead after Thursday, the biggest Masters' advantage after one round in 62 years. But like Jack Burke Jr. who in 1955 followed his 67 with a 76, Hoffman also could not build on his hot start, shooting a 3-over 75 after his opening 65.
For a while, it looked like Sergio Garcia's chances at winning the Masters had taken a major hit.
The tournament's internal scoring system listed Garcia with a triple-bogey seven on the 10th hole, briefly dropping him four shots behind leader Charley Hoffman. It was soon announced that it was a scoring error and Garcia had merely made bogey on the hole, leaving him at 2-under par for the tournament.
Apparently, Garcia had hit a provisional ball following a poor tee shot to start his final nine. But he found his original ball and played it from there, making a five instead of incurring a penalty if he had to play his second shot.
Once the error was discovered, Garcia was put back at 2-under. He later cut into Hoffman's lead further with a birdie on the 15th hole.
One of the Masters' most popular past champions is back in contention at Augusta National.
Fred Couples, the 1992 champion, had consecutive birdies on the second and third holes to move to 1-under par and three shots behind leader Charley Hoffman in Friday's second round.
Couples is famous at Augusta for his win 25 years ago, when his ball on the par-3 12th looked like it was headed for the water but hung up in the thicker grass and stayed dry. Couples made par and went on to his only major title.
Charley Hoffman's huge first-round Masters lead is gone.
He entered the second round with a four-shot edge, the largest after an opening day at Augusta National in 62 years. But as quickly as Hoffman built the advantage with four straight back-nine birdies on Thursday, he saw it disappear with five bogeys over a six-hole stretch in round two.
Hoffman was tied with surging Sergio Garcia at 3-under par.
William McGirt started four shots behind Hoffman in second play. McGirt shot a 1-over 73 as one of the earliest starters and is a stroke behind Hoffman and Garcia.
Charley Hoffman has seen his opening-round Masters lead cut to just one shot midway through the second round at Augusta National.
Hoffman had made nine birdies over an 18-hole stretch to open a sizeable lead. But he's made three straight bogeys over the sixth, seventh and eighth holes to hold a one-stroke lead over surging Sergio Garcia.
Rory McIlroy shot a struggling 39 on his first nine holes. He's made six birdies since and crossed into red numbers. He's looking to complete a career grand slam with a Masters victory.
Ryan Moore is also among the fast starters, going 3-under par through his first 14 holes to join the group at 1 under for the tournament.
Sergio Garcia is in the mix at the Masters, opening the second round with three straight birdies. The run ended with a bogey on the par-3 fourth hole. Still, it's gotten Garcia into a tie for second, four shots behind Charley Hoffman.
The 37-year-old Garcia is among the golfers tagged with the dreaded title as the game's greatest never to win a major. The Spaniard would certainly love to end that at Augusta National. His best finish here was a tie for fourth in 2004. Garcia has had just one top-10 finish in his past 12 appearances.
Charley Hoffman is off and running in the second round of the Masters, a second-hole birdie restoring his four shot lead over William McGirt. Hoffman came into the day with the biggest lead after the opening round in 62 years.
After starting with a par, Hoffman kept up his birdie run - he's made six in his last nine holes - with one at the par-5 second. Hoffman was among several golfers near the top of the leaderboard who began second-round action.
Sergio Garcia started with a birdie on the first hole to get to 2 under while Lee Westwood, who began the round in third, opened with a bogey to fall into a large group tied for fourth.
Second-place McGirt was among the first golfers on the course and was at 4 under through 12 holes.
On a chilly morning at the Masters, defending champion Danny Willett began the second round with a snowman.
Willett took an 8 on the opening hole.
The misfortune began when his tee shot did not go in the bunker right of the fairway. Willett tried to balance his feet on the edge, and he didn't quite pull it off. He shanked the shot deep into the woods. From there, he pitched out of the pines and well over the green. His first pitch wasn't hard enough and rolled back down. His second pitch was hard enough. In fact, it rolled off the green back into the fairway.
He chipped up to 6 feet and missed the putt, walking off with a quadruple bogey.
Willett was one short of the record for highest score on No. 1. A year ago, Ernie Els took six putts from 2 feet in making a 9.
William McGirt had a bogey on the opening hole of the second round of the Masters after just one to start the tournament. But then the 37-year-old journeyman golfer had two birdies in his next three holes Friday to move to 4 under.
McGirt began the round in second place, four shots behind Charley Hoffman's 65. Hoffman and McGirt were the only players to shoot in the 60s and among just 11 to finish under par on Thursday in strong, gusty winds.
Hoffman tees off at 10:01 a.m.
Conditions were expected to improve for the second round. McGirt teed off under sunny skies with the winds blowing around 20 mph, roughly half the force of the gusts on Thursday.