2016 Masters: Spieth still leads but McIlroy closes in

It was a rough day for the Aussies at Augusta National as Jordan Spieth hangs on to a slender lead.

Jordan Spieth will take the lead into the weekend of the 2016 Masters Tournament, but Rory McIlroy is breathing down his neck.

Spieth hit the ground running on Friday opening with a birdie on the first and third holes to open up a sizeable lead and have golf fans wondering if the 2016 Masters champion may be cruising his way to victory.

But this is Augusta National. And Augusta National with gusty winds. Spieth double-bogeyed the fifth hole with a four putt and then held on for much of the day to get into the clubhouse at 4-under par.

Starting the day at 2-under par, Rory McIlroy started well to grab a couple of birdies at the second and third holes but stuggled through the middle stretch of the course to eventually fall back to even par. Three birdies in McIlroy’s closing six holes propelled the Northern Irishman into second place, just a shot behind Spieth.

Arguably the story of the round was the performance by amateur Bryson DeChambeau. With a set of irons of all the same length, the eccentric DeChambeau managed to tame the Augusta National layout and get to a score of 4-under at the 15th hole.

DeChambeau made bogey at the 16th before a disastrous triple-bogey at the 18th ruined what would have been a fairytale round of golf.

It wasn’t a great day for the Australians.

Jason Day will make his way into the weekend action but it is very much a story of what could’ve been for the US PGA Champion.

After a heart-breaking round on Thursday, Day battled hard to get his tournament score to 2-under par by the eighth hole but like everybody else, he struggled to hold on to a decent score, eventually finishing at 1-over par for the tournament.

Cameron Smith has played a superb debut at Augusta National making the cut with a score of 3-over par.

Adam Scott can take some confidence into the weekend. After struggling to stay above the cut line for most of the day, Scott made a fabulous tap in birdie to finish at 4-over. Eight shots behind Spieth.

Marc Leishman will be left rueing his final two holes. Two bogeys sent him out of the tournament just a shot below the cut line.

Steven Bowditch had a tournament to forget finishing at 17-0ver par for the tournament and will be turning his attention to recovering from a wrist injury.

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