Aussie Jason Day leads by 1 halfway through; Tiger Woods 3 back
BY PAUL NEWBERRY April 12, 2013 11:26PM
Jason Day, of Australia, waves to the gallery on the 18th hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 12, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Updated: May 14, 2013 6:23AM
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jason Day is out in front midway through the Masters. Fortunately for Guan Tianlang, Day didn’t sink one last putt Friday.
Guan, a 14-year-old from China, became the youngest player to make the cut in PGA Tour history, despite taking a one-stroke penalty on the 17th hole for slow play. Apparently the first ruling of its kind in the Masters’ 77-year history, it gave the eighth-grader no margin for error if he wanted to play on the weekend.
Day charged to the lead and was in position to knock out Guan — and everyone else at 4 over par, including defending champion Bubba Watson — when he stood over a 12-foot putt at the 17th hole. When the ball slid by the right side of the hole, Guan could breathe a little easier.
Then when Day’s approach at the 18th rolled back toward the front of the green, it was clear Guan would reach another milestone — two more rounds in the first major of the year. He already was the youngest player in Masters history.
Day shot a 4-under 68 on a windy afternoon that gave him a two-day total of 6-under 138, good enough for a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples and Marc Leishman. Couples shot a 1-under 71 and Leishman a 1-over 73.
‘‘I’m just very, very tired,’’ Day said. ‘‘We had almost a six-hour round out there, and it was very, very difficult. It was a big grind out there.’’
Nonetheless, Day said he is
excited about the possibility of
becoming the first player from Australia to win the Masters.
‘‘Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure on my shoulders,’’ he said. ‘‘No Australian has ever won the event. They have been very, very close, but I’ve just got to try to get that out of my mind and just plug away.’’
Tiger Woods had a share of the top spot until a tough finish knocked him back. He struck the flagstick at the 15th, sending the ball careening back into the water. Only a brilliant pitch on the do-over allowed him to save bogey at a hole where he should have had a good chance for a birdie.
Then on the 18th, Woods misjudged the distance a bit on the
approach, wound up on the back tier of the green and three-putted for another bogey. He finished with a 71 and was three shots back at 141, a score that easily could have been two or three shots lower.
‘‘I really played well,’’ Woods said. ‘‘The score is not indicative of how well I played.’’
Leishman kept up his solid play in the windier conditions of the afternoon, while others skidded down the board. They included Sergio Garcia, who was tied with Leishman at the end of the first round after both shot 6-under 66. Garcia soared to a 4-over 76 that knocked him back but not out. He was four strokes off the lead.
Dustin Johnson surged to
7 under before a dismal finish
ruined his day. He laid up at the par-5 15th, then dunked his third shot in the water, leading to a double bogey. He bogeyed the 17th and took another double bogey at the 18th to finish with 76, too. Instead of leading, he was five shots back.