2018 MASTERS / Patrick Reed leads Marc Leishman by two strokes

Marc Leishman sits in outright second place through two rounds of The 2018 Masters.

Patrick Reed made nine birdies in his 6-under par round of 66 to storm into the lead at the halfway mark of the 2018 Masters Tournament.

Reed’s white-hot round was punctuated by three sets of three consecutive birdies. Opening with three birdies, Reed finished the front nine at Augusta with another three birdies to make the turn in just 31 strokes.

Three more through 13, 14 and 15 and Reed has opened up a three stroke lead on his nearest rival Marc Leishman and a bunch of other big names. Just a bogey at the par-3 16th hole saw Reed’s lead drop to two-strokes going into the weekend.

Leishman carded the equal second best round of the day to set himself up for a shot at the green jacket. Four birdies, an eagle and just one bogey sees Leishman sitting in outright second just two strokes behind Reed.

Leishman’s eagle at the par-5 15th hole included the shot of the week so far. A raking draw around the trees saw Leishman’s second shot finish within six feet of the flag and was, as the commentators suggested, “absolutely fantastic”.

Leishman knows he needs to take any opportunities when they come at Augusta National and did so playing along side Tiger Woods on Thursday and Friday, and therefore in front of the biggest galleries.

“Worked hard today. It was a fairly stress-free round, a couple of good up-and-downs,” Leishman said. “For the most part it was hitting it in the good spots and leaving myself relatively easy putts.

Reed and Leishman lead a stellar leaderboard that includes plenty of the world’s best golfers.

Henrik Stenson is just four behind Reed on 5-under par. Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are just a shot further back and just behind them are the names Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas.

Tiger Woods finished his round with a 3-over par 75 to make the cut but 13 strokes behind Reed.

Cameron Smith is still very much in the tournament at 1-under par but Jason Day and Adam Scott have plenty of work to do over the weekend at 2-over and 4-over the card respectively.

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