The Masters: What we learned from day two

We look back on the talking points from round two at Augusta National

DM: That was a testing day for Rory. He struggled with his chipping, putting and club selection at various times.

JS: Yes, he seemed a bit out of sorts. I don’t know what he was doing on the fourth and 10th. It was a day he just needed to hang in there and not fall too far back I think.

DM: It wasn’t much easier for Adam Scott at the start either. He was serene on Thursday but the front nine was a real battle for him last night, I thought.

JS: I feared he may fall away after his shaky start but got things going on the back nine and is very much in contention. It was interesting to hear Bubba Watson say the lack of media attention has helped him go well so far this week. His run of five straight birdies on the back nine was the first serious charge of the tournament so far. But the spotlight is now back on the 2012 champion. How will Bubba cope with the pressure back on?

DM: Yes, that is now the big question. My suspicion would be that he doesn’t have the mentality to lead for so long. The other possibility is that he shoots 68 tomorrow and goes on to win by seven. I don’t think so though. I think there will be some great value to be found way down the field because even the +3s are only six shots off the top three.

JS: A very good point. Justin Rose said in his post-round interview that he’s not really looking at the leader. He’s looking at the chasing pack. Although he’s +2 he still feel like he is within reach of those at -3.
Saturday is going to be fascinating as there are so many players lurking just beneath the first page of the leaderboard. You fancy at least a couple to really make a charge. On the downside, Sergio, Luke and Phil were names you wanted to see in the mix for the weekend.

It seems highly likely that a couple of players will emerge from the pack tomorrow to move into position for Sunday DM: Well yes, but not everyone can make the cut. Although it looked like they might thanks to the 10-shot rule until Bubba’s run of birdies on the back nine. What an amazing performance (again) by Freddie Couples. He does it every year. Will be be able to keep it up this time? Tradition dictates he falls away after the weekend.

JS: Couples is simply a joy to watch. We all know he will fade away at some stage but it’s great that he’s never at Augusta just to make up the numbers. John Senden and Thomas Bjorn are another couple of players showing the youngsters how it’s done. According to Butch Harmon we are witnessing a “changing of the guard” with the current young crop. I’m not so sure.

DM: I know. This isn’t Rickie, Jason, Matteo, Rory, Thorbjorn doing the damage, is it? What I do know is that very few of the players currently in red figures are what you would call serial Major contenders and that’s why it seems highly likely that a couple of players will emerge from the pack tomorrow to move into position for Sunday.

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