David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Business has picked up at the Masters after four players ended Friday tied for first place and four others were one shot behind that group.
If there’s been one bit of bad news at Augusta, Georgia, to this point, the three-hour rain delay on Thursday has impacted the schedule for each of the past two days. After 44 players were forced to finish their first round Friday, 48 players were still on the course yesterday when darkness halted the action.
Fans can follow all of the action for the rest of the second round and all of the third round on the Masters’ website. The second round resumed at 7:30 a.m. ET this morning, while the third round began at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Justin Ray of the Golf Channel highlighted the weight of the history suggesting only those within shouting distance of the leader after 36 holes have a shot at winning:
While the stage appears to be set for a dramatic two days at Augusta, Dustin Johnson would seem to have a leg up on the competition based on his performance on this course dating back to 2018:
Johnson did the bulk of his damage Thursday when he opened with a 65. The South Carolina native looked like he was on his way to another round in the 60s on Friday, but back-to-back bogeys on No. 14 and 15 forced him to settle for a 70.
Abraham Ancer was among the foursome tied for the lead after Friday’s play was suspended. The 29-year-old finished the second round with a 67 as he attempts to become the first player since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 to win the green jacket in his first career appearance in the tournament.
Round 3 could be the difference-maker for Ancer based on his performance this season. In 16 measured rounds, his third-round scoring average of 72.75 ranks 223rd on the PGA Tour. That average has been hurt thanks to a 79 on Saturday at the U.S. Open and a 77 at the Zozo Championship.
Justin Thomas could be the biggest threat to Johnson over the next two days. The 27-year-old showed excellent mental fortitude in the second round after starting the day with a double-bogey on his first hole.
Thomas played the final 17 holes at five under par and was buoyed by four consecutive birdies on the last four holes.
The course has been player-friendly through the first two days. If that trend continues through Sunday, Thomas’ closing stretch in the second round could be what catapults him to his first Masters victory.