The second day of the 87th Masters Golf Tournament took place at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA on Friday, April 7. The day was unpredictable, interrupted by an unexpected storm amid surprising cuts.
Those that got an early start were very fortunate. The conditions were calm and the greens were soft, allowing for an easier time shooting lower scores. Those that started in the early afternoon were not so lucky. Winds started to pick up, making the flight of the golf balls a lot less predictable and harder to control.
Halfway through the day, play was stopped temporarily when lighting was spotted. Play briefly resumed during an intermission in the storm, but was halted soon after and officially stopped for the rest of the day. Many players will be forced to complete their second round early on Saturday morning before potentially teeing off a second time late in the day if they made the cut.
The morning wave started strong with co-leader Brooks Koepka sinking an early birdie on hole two to take hold of solo lead at eight under par. Koepka didn’t stop there, continuing on to make this historically difficult course seem unlike the monster it is. He took full advantage of the good playing conditions, ending the day with a solid grasp on the tournament at 12 under par, a three-stroke lead over Jon Rahm, the third ranked player in the world.
Amateur golfer Sam Bennett continued to amaze as he finished with back-to-back four under par rounds. Bennett is not only leading all amateurs, but every single golfer besides Koepka and Rahm as well, ending the day in solo third place at eight under par. While several amateurs were not able to complete their second round due to the weather stoppage, Bennett looks like he will be the only amateur to make it to the weekend with the cutline currently sitting at two over par. The next best amateur is at five over par and will have to drop two to three strokes to end his round or he will be going home early.
The most surprising golfer to miss the cut was Rory McIlroy. McIlroy has won all the other three major tournaments on the PGA tour, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open and the Open Championship, making the Masters the last major he needs to complete the career Grand Slam: winning all four major tournaments. McIlroy came in second last year and was a favorite to win this year. His golf game looked very clean up until the first two days of the Masters, ending at five over par to cut his tournament short.
Tiger Woods is sitting on the edge right now with a score of two over par. He was on hole 12 when play was suspended, giving him seven more chances to bring that score down to make his 23rd consecutive cut at the Masters. He shares this record with Fred Couples, currently sitting at even par, who is looking to become the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters.
Scottie Scheffler had a long day on the course, posting a score of three over which drops him down to one under and a tie for 29th. Meanwhile Phil Mickelson, 52 years old, is turning back the clock with an impressive two-day total of three under par. At the top of the leaderboard, though Koepka holds a three stroke lead over Rahm, Rahm still has the entire back nine to play.
With all the weather problems and close scores, this weekend at Augusta National will be worth the watch. The conditions are unknown up until this point as trees were ripped out of the ground by intense winds. It’s safe to say that moving day at Augusta will be full of anticipation.
Evan Marks is a Sports Intern for the spring 2023 quarter. He can be reached at email@example.com.