Day 2 of the 2016 Masters from Augusta, Georgia is complete with the day of golf featuring windy conditions that served as a major challenge to the world’s elite players. Few of them managed to shoot under par for the day and a score of even was considered to be fairly sharp play through the 18 holes.
The leader of the tournament remains American Jordan Spieth. He finishes Day 1 and Day 2 at a combined -4, good for a one-shot lead over Rory McIlroy, who sits 2nd at -3. However, Spieth did not have a particularly strong day as he regressed back to the pack after opening the day at -6. Nonetheless, Saturday and Sunday shape up to be a showdown between Spieth and McIlroy, especially with some big names failing to make the cut.
In order to advance to Day 3, players needed to be in the Top 50 or within 10 shots of the leader. With Spieth leading the field at -4, that made the cut 6 above par in order to stay alive for weekend play.
Phil Mickelson is one big name that missed that cut as his 2016 Masters tournament is now over. The former champion went seven over on Friday for a combined +7 for a two-day total. Rickie Fowler also missed the cut, the American shooting a particularly bad +9 over the two days – well worse than expectations heading into the event.
The day was a historic one for golfers of generations past as Tom Watson played his final round. The 1977 and 1981 champion missed the cut to conclude his career at the Masters. It was fairly clear in his final holes that he would not make it to weekend play and fans paid him tribute in kind. At the age of 66, Watson has acknowledged that he no longer has “the tools” to compete in Augusta, no doubt a factor in his ending a wonderful career.
In terms of favorites to win the tournament now, the biggest news of the day was almost the play of Bryson Dechambeau. The American amateur. who studies at Southern Methodist University. looked sharp through 17 holes, in fact, he stood to shoot a day-best -3. All compiled, if he had parred hole 18, then he would have been tied with McIlroy for second place.
However, he seven-shot the final hole of the day with noteworthy problems from the tee. It’s unclear whether it was amateur ability or amateur nerves that cost him but, largely on the play of five minutes, he went from a tournament contender to nothing more than a very peripheral threat now. Surely losing so many shots in a limited span of play won’t sit well with him overnight and you have to wonder how he will approach the remaining two days.
New Zealand’s Danny Lee and American Scott Piercy both sit at -2. Accordingly, they both have to have ambitions of playing well this weekend and perhaps even competing for the coveted green jacket. In a tournament where changing conditions are affecting score cards, anyone that has played well enough to stay in the red could be just a two day’s of top form away from the 2016 Masters championship.