Round 2 is in the books at Augusta, and despite some threatening weather in the morning, by the time the afternoon rolled around it was a clear day, and the sun was shining through the Georgia pines.
The day was not without controversy, though.
Some of the stories:
Slow and Steady: Tianlang Guan, the young amateur, was assessed a one-stroke slow play penalty. Whether you want to believe that he was singled out, or, if the rules official following his group was just doing his job – apparently Guan had been warned three times that he was on the clock – it did seem odd that the first slow-play penalty to be assessed on the PGA Tour since 1995 (three years before Guan was born) happened today. It will be interesting to see how close pace-of-play is monitored through the weekend. Tiger Woods’ group, for example, finished in about six hours. Epic.
Aside – Guan, at 14, secures low amateur honours as the only amateur to make the cut, and, breaks the record for youngest male to make a cut on the PGA Tour (previous record held by Canadian Bob Panasik)
Outta nowhere: There are few things for certain at Augusta: green jackets, pimento cheese, and Fred Couples in contention. He rarely plays on the regular tour, but he has had three straight top-20 finishes at The Masters, and is just one stroke off the lead heading into the weekend. Angel Cabrera – the 2009 champion – is also just two strokes back. K.J. Choi is another guy who just keeps showing up on the leaderboard each April. There are definitely no sure things in golf, but some courses just fit particular golfers eyes.
Bad Breaks: The golf gods giveth, and the golf gods taketh away. On No.15, Tiger Woods laid up and had a wedge in his hand. He hit his approach right on the money, unfortunately it was *too* good and it hit the flagstick, spinning back into the water. He escaped with bogey, but went on to three-putt No.18. If he ends up losing this Masters by a shot or two, he’ll remember that hit flagstick for a long time.
Just barely making the cut: The Kid(!), Bubba (on the number), Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Nick Watney
Notables missing the cut: Mike Weir, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Webb Simpson
Early returns for predictions on Day 3 stories (I was 2/5 today): Dufner saunters up the leaderboard and will play with Freddie on Sunday, An Australian and an Englishman will be tied for the lead, Tiger shoots 68, One person shoots 80+
Tweets of the Day:
Photo of the Day:
.GIF of the Day:
The Last Word: “This is as wide open a Masters tournament as we’ve had in quite some time”