April 9 (UPI) — Justin Rose shot an even-par 72 in Friday’s second round of the Masters Tournament to enter the weekend with a one-shot lead at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.
Rose, who finished Thursday’s opening round with a 65 and a four-stroke advantage, watched his lead shrink after four bogeys on the front nine. The 40-year-old Englishman overcame the shaky start and recorded three birdies over his final six holes to end the day where he started at 7-under par.
“I didn’t quite appreciate the scoring was going to be quite so good today,” Rose said. “So again, I felt like the golf course was still fairly tricky the first few holes. The first six holes were always quite difficult around here.”
Rose, a two-time runner-up at the Masters, opened his second round with a bogey, but followed that up with a birdie on the par-5 second hole. He then made bogeys at the fourth, sixth and seventh holes to lose three shots in the first seven holes.
The 10-time PGA Tour winner and 2013 U.S. Open winner regrouped and made five consecutive pars before birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th holes.
“I think it was just a classic day at Augusta National when you’re just slightly off,” Rose said. “You can be a foot or two out on certain occasions, and you end up struggling.
“I think maybe off the back [Thursday], it starts to feel different pretty quickly. I kind of told myself going up the eighth hole, you’re leading the Masters, your frame of reference is a little bit different to [Thursday]. Four ahead is something, but you’re still leading so enjoy it and keep going. I was able to do that.”
Late surges from Will Zalatoris and Brian Harman put the pair a shot back of Rose entering the weekend.
Zalatoris, who was competing on the developmental Korn Ferry Tour at this time last year, recorded five birdies on the back nine, including three on the last three holes, for a 4-under 68.
Harman, who was the last player to enter the 88-man field, was 3-under par Friday to join Zalatoris below Rose on the leaderboard at 6-under 138.
Marc Leishman (67) and 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth (68) were a shot back of Zalatoris and Harman at 5-under par through two rounds. Justin Thomas, Tony Finau and Hideki Matsuyama were among those at 4-under and tied for sixth.
Defending champion and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson failed to make Friday’s cut, shooting a 75 on the second day after his first-round 74. Brooks Koepka (75), Sergio Garcia (72), Rory McIlroy (74) and Matt Kuchar (70) also didn’t qualify for the weekend.
The third round of the Masters is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. EDT Saturday.
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