Compared to the anticipation, the opening two days of the 2012 US Masters may be seen as a little anti-climatic. But as usual, Augusta has thrown up some some stories that make for an intriguing weekend.
|(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)|
Fred Couples -5 72 67
Jason Dufner -5 69 70
Rory McIlroy -4 68 72
Bubba Watson -4 69 71
Louis Oosthuizen -4 68 72
Lee Westwood -4 67 73
Sergio Garcia -4 72 68
Take Phil Mickelson for example. When he made bogey on 11 to drop to 2-over for the tournament, a fourth green jacket looked out of the question. But a series of birdies and long curling putt for birdie on the 18th, his second in two days, see Mickelson just three shots behind the leaders Couples and Dufner.
Couples is a master at the Masters. He claimed he wouldn’t be able to go as low as some of the young guys this week, but with belly putter in hand, he made a mockery of that statement. He made two bogey’s and two birdies in his opening six holes but managed five more coming home to tie Dufner for the lead.
The leaderboard is full of patient golfers who refused to let a double bogey or a string of dropped shots get in their way. Louis Oosthuizen finished the day where he started after an up-and-down day, and Henrik Stenson was again thwarted by a bad score coming home but is still well in contention.
Then of course, there is Woods.
Tiger Woods battled his driver and his temper throughout most of Friday to Birdies at the first and third had Woods at 2-under par. Five years ago, there would be no stopping Woods from here but a wayward driver, let’s call it the Big Miss, saw Woods lose his focus and his temper. He has only hit half of his fairways over the opening two rounds.
There was no patience from Woods who grew increasingly frustrated as the day wore on. Strange for someone that knows Augusta so well, but perhaps not so strange given his woes on, and off the tee.