US Masters 2021: Justin Rose battles back to lead, Jordan Spieth move, Dustin Johnson misses cut
Justin Rose settled for a level-par 72 in the second round of the US Masters to maintain a one-shot advantage ahead of the third day. 2015 winner Jordan Spieth enjoyed a 68 to move within two strokes of the leader while Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau are within striking distance after both enjoyed 67s. Defending champion Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy both missed the cut.
Justin Rose of England reacts on the eighth hole during the second round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on 9 April, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia.
Justin Rose produced another powerful finish on Friday at the US Masters with a level-par 72 enough to maintain a one-shot lead on seven under as former champion Jordan Spieth moved firmly into contention with a four-under 68 after the second round.
But defending champion and world number one Dustin Johnson will not be claiming back-to-back titles on Sunday after he failed to make the cut with a disappointing 75 leaving him at five over, two shots above the cut of plus three.
Dustin Johnson of the United States reacts on the 18th green during the second round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 09, 2021 in Augusta
He was in good company with four-times Major winner Rory McIlroy also departing the scene on six over after a second-round 74 followed a disappointing 76 on Thursday.
The two-times Masters runner-up Rose – whose opening day 65 earned him a four-shot overnight lead after he had slumped to plus two after seven holes – slipped from seven under to four under after his first 12 holes on Friday at Augusta, but managed to restore parity by finishing with three birdies in the final six holes to end the day as he started it.
"I didn't quite appreciate the scoring was going to be quite so good today,'' said Rose, who missed the Players Championship during an enforced five-week absence with a back issue. "I felt like the golf course was still fairly tricky the first few holes. The first six holes were always quite difficult around here.''
While Rose has played the outward nine in 74 over the first two days, he has roared back in only 63 strokes. Birdies this time at the 13th, 14th and 16th were enough to ensure he would be in the final group for the third round on Saturday with American duo Will Zalatoris (68) and Brian Harman (69) only one shot behind on six under.
"I think it was just a classic day at Augusta National when you're just slightly off,'' said the 2013 US Open champion. "You can be a foot or two out on certain occasions, and you end up struggling.
I love being here on the grounds. It's a golf course I know how to play better than any other. For me to come into any major championship without playing for a month, it would be this one.
A rejuvenated Spieth – fresh from last week's win at the Texas Open – complemented his first-round 71 with a 68 seeing him move to five under alongside Australian Marc Leishman, who hit a five-under 67 to boost his prospects of glory after finishing fourth behind winner Adam Scott in 2013.
The 2015 champion Spieth is aiming to become the first player in Masters history to claim the Green Jacket after suffering a triple bogey (at the ninth hole on the first day).
"For me, I think less is more and rest is key, but certainly, I'm happy that the golf course has the opportunity to play more and more difficult over the weekend," said Spieth.
"I think that personally I'm looking forward to that kind of challenge, and I think that could be an advantage to me if I'm in control of the ball."
US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau moved back into contention as a birdie at the 18th hole ensured he moved to one under with a second-round 67.
World number two Justin Thomas also enjoyed a fruitful day after a first-round 73 with a classy 67 helping him within three of Rose.
Players Championship runner-up Lee Westwood produced a one-under par 71 in his second round, but the damage was done with a 78 on the first day as he finished his tournament on five over to miss the cut.
SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD (PAR 72):
1 Justin Rose -7
2 Brian Harman -6
2 Will Zalatoris -6
4 Marc Leishman -5
4 Jordan Spieth -5
6 Bernd Wiesberger -4
6 Tony Finau -4
6 Hideki Matsuyama -4
6 Justin Thomas -4
6 Si Woo Kim -4
6 Cameron Champ -4
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