Couples and Dufner lead tight Masters race
By Peter Auf der Heyde Apr 7, 2012, 0:51 GMT
Augusta, Georgia - Fred Couples and Jason Dufner lead a tight Masters race at the end of Friday's second round at the Augusta National.
The two Americans lead with a five-under 139, while five players are a shot behind them, followed by three players who sit on three-under 141.
Dufner added a 70 to the 69 he played in the first round on Thursday, but missed out on a opportunity to remain six-under with a one-over-par 5 on the 18th.
52-year-old Couples, who won the Masters in 1992 and also plays on the Seniors Tour (Champions Tour) had the best round of the day as he played a five-under 67.
'It's amazing, it was a great day today, and I worked my way up the leaderboard. There are a lot of other guys at three- and four-under.
'For me it's nice to be in the mix. This course brings out great players. I consider myself to be a little past where I feel really comfortable with leading a major at the time.
'I'm sure maybe somebody will get to six-under out there, but I look forward to tomorrow, and we'll see what happens,' Couples said.
Behind the two leaders Lee Westwood, who started on five-under and had a one-shot lead into the second round, seemed on course to extend his lead, but a double-bogey on the last hole saw him fall back to four-under.
The Briton heads a group of five players - the others being Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson - on a four-under 140.
Garcia would have had a share of the lead, but a bogey on the 18th saw him fall one behind, while McIlroy played a bogey on the 17th.
Pre-tournament favourite Tiger Woods had a frustrating round as he managed two birdies in the opening three holes, but then added five bogeys to finish on 75 for the day and three-over for the two rounds.
Woods was visibly upset with his game and cursed to himself and also kicked his club at the 16th after playing a poor tee shot.
He said that he was frustrated with his shot. 'It's not that hard. Just a three quarter nine-iron, hold it against the slope. It's a very easy golf shot. So that was very frustrating.'
He said he believed he still had a chance to do well. 'I've been around the block for a number of years, and I understand how to be patient, I understand how to grind it out, and the tournament is not over.
'Last year I think on the final round I made up seven shots. I can do this. I've just got to be patient. Obviously I've got to cut that deficit down tomorrow with a good, solid round and then get off to a quick start on the front nine on Sunday and see where that puts me,' the four-time Masters winner said.
Woods will play Saturday's third round with defending champion Charl Schwartzel, after the South African also scored a three-over 75 to finish eight behind the leaders.
Former world number one Martin Kaymer made the cut for the first time at his fifth appearance at the Masters after carding a three-over 75 to finish three over for the tournament.
'I am happy with most of my play, the only thing that let me down was my putting. I three-putted six times and would have had a really good round had I not done that.'
Play gets under way at 9:15 am local time (1315 GMT) with Kelly Kraft, who has to play with a marker as an uneven number of players qualified. Dufner and Couples tee off at 2:45 pm (1845 GMT).
The cut was at 149, with 63 players qualifying for the two final rounds on Saturday and Sunday. Only once in the 76-year history of the competition have more players made the cut. (1966, when 64 players made it through to the weekend).
Amongst the players who just made it were former winners Angel Cabrera of Argentina and South African Trevor Immelman, who both finished on 149, while PGA champion Keegan Bradley and world number one Luke Donald were on 148.
Not making the cut were two-time winners Bernard Langer and Tom Watson.
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