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Justin Rose retains leadership, Dustin Johnson drops out


At the end of the second round, Justin Rose retains the lead of the Masters with a total of -7. It’s already over, however, for world number one and defending champion Dustin Johnson (+5). End of the adventure also for Victor Perez, the only Frenchman in the running.

The Augusta National Golf Club was more tender with the world’s golfing elite this Friday. More selective than ever the day before, he relaxed during the second round. With softer greens, masts were planted and birdies fell. The day before, only 12 players had played under par, there were 40 this Friday! There are now 20 players under par after two rounds. And the same leader Justin Rose. This is the 7th time that the former world number 1 has raced in the lead at the Masters, alone or shared. This is the highest total for a player who has never won a green jacket… The Rio 2016 Olympic champion, author of an incredible 65 (-7) the day before, was content to play in the par when of the 2nd round with four birdies for as many bogeys.

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The 41st in the world had a difficult start with four bogeys on the first seven holes (for a birdie) “At 8, I said to myself:” You are still the leader of the Masters “and that made me change my mind. state of mind, blew the Englishman. From there I embarked on a match-play against the course. And from the 8th, Justin Rose did not commit a single bogey and planted three birdies to keep the tournament lead. In two rounds, he totaled 9 birdies on the return of the Masters. No one has done better in the last 30 years. His lead of four strokes over his first pursuers nevertheless melted. Because the competition has played better than Thursday, on a much more accessible course.

The Zalatoris surprise, the Spieth confirmation

Will Zalatoris, 24, playing in his first Masters, returned a second card of 68 (-4) to take second place at -6 overall just one stroke behind Justin Rose. He managed a comeback with no less than five birdies, including three on the last three holes. Like the surprise Zalatoris, left-hander Brian Harman finished very strong this Friday with two birdies to return a second consecutive 69 (-3) which propels him to 2nd place, at -6 in total alongside… Zalatoris. The American, who is playing his 3rd Masters, is in good shape, having finished 3rd in the last Players. Behind this duo of pursuers not necessarily expected, big names point the tip of their putters. We are of course thinking of Jordan Spieth, 4th with a total of -5. The winner of the 2015 edition posted a 68 (-4), with five birdies (including four on the return) and only one bogey. This is the third time the Texan has started his Masters with two first rounds under par. Previously, he finished 2nd (2014) and 1st (2015). Competition is warned. Marc Leishman, author of a very good 67 (-5) is alongside Spieth in 4th place at -6 total.

Two of the main favorites for the title are in ambush. Tony Finau (-6 this Friday) and Justin Thomas (-4) are in 6th position alongside four other players including Si Woo Kim. The 2017 Players winner played 69 (-3). A remarkable performance, especially, when you know that after breaking his putter in rage on the 14th, he had to putt the last four holes with his… 3 wood. each time two putts.

Dustin Johnson and McIlroy victims of the cut

After his false start the day before, Bryson DeChambeau played nine strokes less this Friday with a card of 67 (-5) and a sticking out tongue after his final birdie on the 18. The winner of the US Open 2020 goes under the by total and ranks 15th at -1. The DeChambeau phenomenon remains in the race for victory. For Dustin Johnson, the defense of his green jacket fell short. The defending champion and world number 1 takes the door after two laps. The fault in particular with a very badly negotiated end of course. DJ thus conceded three bogeys on the last four holes with a total of +5, the cut being set at +3. In November 2020, he had flown through the tournament with a record score of -20. So near, so far…

The elimination of Rory McIlroy (+6 total), still without a win in Augusta, seems less surprising, as the Northern Irishman has been in trouble in recent months. Brooks Koepka did not expect much from this 85th edition of the Masters. Operated on the knee two months earlier, the former world number 1, clearly disabled, not yet 100% finished his tournament in +5. So no cut for the man with four Grand Slam titles. Former world number 1, Lee Westwood (+5), Jason Day (+9) and former winners Danny Willett (+5), Zach Johnson (+7) or Sergio Garcia (+4) will not be there this week -end. Happy ending on the other hand for the double winner of the Masters, aged 55, Jose Maria Olazabal (+2), present a weekend at the Masters for the first time since 2014.

The frustration of Victor Perez

Weighed down by his failed start and his heavy 78 (+6), Thursday, Victor Perez will not pass the cut for his second participation. On alternating current, the Tarbais, on a course it is true much more accessible than the day before, nevertheless raised its head with a card of 73 (+1), this Friday. But his total of +7 does not allow him to continue the adventure. Last November during his first participation, Perez had played all four rounds and finished in 46th place (+1 in total). “I’m disappointed because the score doesn’t reflect my level of play over the two days,” he complains. You have to be very precise on this very demanding course. He was especially on Thursday, this Friday was more scorable. The greens were softer and the flags more accessible (…) This is perhaps the other side of the coin. There was a lot of room for error on a lot of holes. This year it was the usual Masters. Afterwards it’s a good experience to have played four rounds in November. But I learned a lot more this week than in November.”



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