Now that the last group has walked off the course, this year’s fight for the Green Jacket is now halfway to a close. So far, it has been a battle to watch. With the day over the cut finished at five over, nearly eliminating three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson. At the Masters, the stakes are high and the rounds can be unpredictable. Let’s take a look at where everyone sits after day two.
The favorite for the tournament, Rory McIlroy, sits at four under for the weekend. This is a big weekend for McIlroy. If he manages to take home the win, he will be in elite company, not just as a Masters winner, but as one of six to have completed the Grand Slam. He would join fellow competitor Tiger Woods and four other legends as the only players to have won all four of golf’s modern majors during their career.
Joining McIlroy at four under is another potential winner, Jordan Spieth. Looking for his first Green Jacket, Spieth went backward on day two, finishing at two over on the day.
Though at the end of the second day, Patrick Reed sits atop the leaderboard. After a very good first day at three under, Reed lit up the rest of the field to go six under on Friday to finish up at nine under. He currently sits alone in first place after battling it out with Marc Leishman for the lead. Leishman sits alone in second at seven under.
One of the biggest surprises so far has come from American, Tony Finau. On Wednesday, first time Masters competitor Finau picked up an ace in the Par-3 contest. On the ensuing celebration, Finau managed to dislocate his left ankle and to prevent his children seeing him taken away on a stretcher, popped it back in on the course himself. An x-ray and MRI the morning of the first round showed no signs of damage, clearing him to play the weekend. He came out swinging on Thursday with confidence, finishing the day four under and tied for second place. “I look at myself as a pretty mentally tough person, and I think I showed that [Thursday] in my round,” Finau told ESPN. Today, Finau had a little less luck but stayed within a shout of the leaders going two over for the day to put him two under for the weekend. Watching Finau play through this brings back memories of Tiger Woods playing through a hairline fracture and torn ACL to win the 2008 U.S. Open.
Speaking of Tiger, he made his return to the Masters this weekend for the first time since 2015. In his comeback year after having spinal fusion surgery and looking as though he may never play again, Woods is showing glimpses of his old self. Though those glimpses seemed to come on the first day only, as today he dropped another three strokes to finish four over. Joining Woods at the cut line is three-time Masters champion, Phil Mickelson. Mickelson narrowly making the cut, going seven over today to finish the first two days at five over.
The Masters, like any tournament, can be unpredictable. But with a major win and $11 million on the line, the stakes are as high as ever. With a lot of golf still to play, it is still anyone’s game to win or lose.