Second-Round Notes – Friday, April 7, 2017
Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 67. Wind WNW 14-18 mph, with gusts to 30 mph.
Rickie Fowler 73-67—140 (-4)
Sergio Garcia 71-69—140 (-4)
Charley Hoffman 65-75—140 (-4)
Thomas Pieters 72-68—140 (-4)
Cut: 51 professionals and two amateurs at 6-over 150 from a field of 88 professionals and five amateurs.
Cut Rules: After 36 holes, the low 50 and ties within 10 strokes of the lead play the final two rounds.
Through 36 holes, only nine players are under par. Dating to 1990, an average of 19 players have been under par after 36 holes. The fewest number of players to stand below par, three, was in 2007 and the largest number under par after the second round was 36 in 2011.
Second-Round Lead Notes
The second-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win the Masters Tournament 30 times in the previous 80 events. Four players have performed the feat since 2000, Mike Weir (2003), Trevor Immelman (2008), Bubba Watson (2014) and Jordan Spieth (2015).
The last Masters champion who was not inside the top 10 on the leaderboard after 36 holes was Charl Schwartzel (T12/2011), prior to that it was Jack Nicklaus (T17) in 1986.
The last Masters champion who was not inside the top five on the leaderboard after 36 holes was Danny Willett (T8/2016). Prior to that it was Adam Scott (T7/2013).
The largest 36-hole lead at the Masters is five strokes: Harry Cooper (1936), Herman Keiser (1946), Jack Nicklaus (1975), Raymond Floyd (1976) and Jordan Spieth (2015). Four players carried that lead to victory (Harry Cooper).
The largest comeback at the Masters after the second round is eight strokes (Jack Burke, 1956). Burke was eight behind Ken Venturi through two rounds, but edged Venturi by one with closing rounds of 75-71.
Last year, Jordan Spieth led by a stroke over Rory McIlroy at 4-under 140.
Making his 19th start in the Masters Tournament and 74th in a major championship, Sergio Garcia put himself into position for the weekend with a second-round, 3-under 69. He is at 4-under 140 and T1.
This marks the 11th time Garcia has held a lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR after 36 holes. Of the previous 10, only the 2001 THE NORTHERN TRUST resulted in victory. His last 36-hole lead before this week was at the 2014 BMW Championship (T4).
In 73 previous major championships, Garcia has collected 22 top-10 finishes, but has never won. He has collected three top-10 finishes at Augusta (T8/2013, T4/2004 and 8th/2002). He ranks second among active players to have made the most major championship starts, without finding victory. Lee Westwood is making his 76th major championship start this week.
Since 1934, most major starts without a victory:
Sergio Garcia 73
Colin Montgomerie 72
Miguel Angel Jimenez 71
Steve Stricker 67
In round two, Garcia hit an impressive 13 of 14 fairways in regulation, 12 of 18 greens and needed 28 putts.
Garcia is the winner of nine PGA TOUR events, most recently being the 2016 AT&T Byron Nelson. He has collected 19 wins internationally, most recently being the Omega Dubai Desert Classic two months ago.
Garcia is making his seventh start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season this week, where he has not missed a cut. His best finish is a T9 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
Making his first start at the Masters, Belgium’s Thomas Pieters made four birdies and no bogeys in round two to get to 4-under 140 headed into the weekend.
Before this week, Pieters had never been higher than T7 after any round on the PGA TOUR (R1, R3 2017 WGC-Mexico Championship).
Ranked 35th in the Official World Golf Rankings, the 25-year-old Pieters has collected three European Tour victories, most recently the 2016 Made in Denmark (unofficial money).
Pieters was also selected by Captain Darren Clarke to compete on his 2016 Ryder Cup International Team. His 4-1 performance marked the best record by a European rookie in Ryder Cup history.
Pieters is making seventh start on the PGA TOUR this season, having collected a pair of top-5 finishes at the Genesis Open (T2) and World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship (T5). This week’s Masters marks his 12th career start on TOUR.
Number attempts before a first victory at the Masters:
1, Horton Smith, 1934
1, Gene Sarazen, 1935
1, Fuzzy Zoeller, 1979
2, Jimmy Demaret, 1940
2, Herman Keiser, 1946
2, Charl Schwartzel, 2011
2, Jordan Spieth, 2015
2, Danny Willett, 2016
In his seventh start at the Masters Tournament, Rickie Fowler made five birdies and one bogey in round two to grab a share of the 36-hole lead at 4-under 140.
This marks Fowler’s fifth 36-hole lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR. He has not been able to convert any for the win. He most recently was leading/co-leading after the second round at the 2016 Honda Classic (T6). He was runner-up on the other three occasions.
In six previous starts, today’s 68 marks just his second sub-par score in the score round (69/2011).
Fowler’s only top-10 finish in the Masters is a T5 in 2014. That year, he finished all four majors inside the top five.
Fowler claimed his fourth career PGA TOUR title earlier this season at The Honda Classic. In addition to the win at PGA National, Fowler finished inside the top 10 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions (T6), Waste Management Phoenix Open (T4) and is coming off a T3 finish at last week’s Shell Houston Open.
Fowler hit 10 of 14 fairways in regulation in round two, but connected with just 10 of 18 greens. He led the field in round two with the fewest putts (23).
Following his 7-under 65 in round one, 18-hole leader Charley Hoffman made just two birdies against five bogeys to post a 3-over 75. Through 36 holes, he is at 4-under 140.
This marks the seventh time Hoffman has been leader/co-leader after 36 holes on the PGA TOUR. None have resulted in victory. Most recently, Hoffman held a one-stroke lead at this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, before finishing T2.
Hoffman, who hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation in round one, found just 10 greens in regulation in round two. His 25 putts in round one was tied for the fewest of the day. In round two, he needed 31 putts to complete his round.
Hoffman, who is making his fourth start in the Masters Tournament, opened with a 5-under 67 in 2015 to claim a share of second place after round one. He followed it with a 68 to head into the weekend in second place alone, five strokes behind Jordan Spieth. Hoffman would finish T9 after weekend scores of 71-74. He finished T27 in 2014 and T29 last year.
Hoffman is making his 23rd major championship start, with his T9 at Augusta in 2015 his best showing.
Hoffman is the winner of four PGA TOUR events, with his most recent title coming at last year’s Valero Texas Open.
Hoffman is making his 13th start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season this week, having already collected two top-5 finishes; T4/Genesis Open and T2/Arnold Palmer Invitational. He is coming off a T23 showing at last week’s Shell Houston Open.
Making his 25th start in the Masters Tournament, three-time champion Phil Mickelson opened with scores of 71-73—144 (E) and will begin round three four strokes back. .
This marks the 14th occasion on which Mickelson has been inside the top 10 after 36 holes at the Masters. Of those, 10 were top-5 positions.
Here’s a look at Mickelson’s 36-hole positions the years he won at the Masters:
Including his three wins, Mickelson has claimed 15 top-10 finishes, five clear of any other event on the PGA TOUR.
Mickelson, a 42-time winner on the PGA TOUR, is in search of his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship.
Mickelson will be 46 years, 9 months and 24 days Sunday. When he won his sixth green jacket in 1986, Jack Nicklaus was 46 years, 2 months and 23 days.
Additional Player Notes
Fred Couples birdied his last hole of the day to post a 2-under 70 and get to 1-under 143, just three back of the 36-hole leaders, which includes Thomas Pieters. Pieters was born on January 27, 1992. Just 10 weeks later, on April 12, Couples won the Masters.
Making his first start in the Masters Tournament, 2017 Farmers Insurance Open winner Jon Rahm opened with rounds of 73-70—143 (-1). He will head into the weekend three strokes back. He made four birdies against a double bogey at the par-4 10th hole.
Reigning FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy posted scores of 72-73—145 (+1) and will being the third round five strokes back. After 36 holes last year, McIlroy trailed Jordan Spieth by a stroke at 3-under 141. He finished T10.
McIlroy is making his ninth start in the Masters this week, with his three top-10 finishes coming in each of the last three years; 2014/T8, 4th/2015 and 2016/T10. His lone missed cut at the Masters came in 2010 after opening with scores of 74-77—151 (+7).
On the heels of a missed cut at last week’s Shell Houston Open, 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth opened with scores of 75-69—144 (E) and will head into the weekend four strokes back.
Making his seventh start at the Masters, Jason Day has posted scores of 74-76—150 (+6) to make the cut on the number. He will begin round three 10 strokes back.
Day has collected three top-10 finishes in his six previous starts; 2011/T2, 2013/3rd and 2016/T10. He has never missed the cut, but withdrew after round one in 2012.
At 1-under 143, Ryan Moore heads into the weekend just three strokes back and inside the top 10 .Playing the Masters as an amateur in 2005, Moore was T6 through 36 holes at 2-under 142 (eight strokes back). He finished T13.
Defending Masters champion Danny Willett opened with scores of 73-78—151 (+7) to miss the cut by a stroke. Dating to 1990, five Masters champions now have returned the following year and missed the cut; Danny Willett (2017), Mike Weir (2004), Jose Maria Olazabal (2000), Nick Faldo (1997) and Ben Crenshaw (1996).
Only three players have successfully defended a Masters title: Tiger Woods (2001-02), Nick Faldo (1989-90) and Jack Nicklaus (1965-66).
Miscellaneous Masters Notes
First timers at the Masters (19): Thomas Pieters (T1/-4), William McGirt (T5/-2), John Rahm (T7/-1), Stewart Hagestad (A) (T19/+3), Brian Stuard (T19/+3), Daniel Summerhays (T35/+5), Adam Hadwin (T35/+5), Curtis Luck (A) (T46/+6), Billy Hurley III (MC), Hudson Swafford (MC), Brad Dalke (A) (MC), Tommy Fleetwood (MC), Toto Gana (A) (MC), Scott Gregory (A) (MC), Tyrell Hatton (MC), Alex Noren (MC), Si Woo Kim (MC), Mackenzie Hughes (MC), and Hideto Tanihara (MC).
Players won the Masters in their first appearance: Horton Smith (1934), Gene Sarazen (1935) and Fuzzy Zoeller (1979).
Amateurs at the Masters (5): Stewaret Hagestad (T19/+3) and Curtis Luck (T46/+6), Brad Dalke (MC), Toto Gana (MC) and Scott Gregory (MC).
Best finishes by an amateur at the Masters: 2–Ken Venturi (1956), T2–Frank Stranahan (1947) and Charles Roe (1961).