Scottie Scheffler lived up to his billing as the World No. 1 after a classy second round of 67 set against some biting wind saw the American claim a five-shot lead at the halfway stage of the 86th Masters.
Scheffler leads on eight under with defending champion Hideki Matsuyama (69), Shane Lowry (68), Charl Schwartzel (69) and Sungjae Im (74) sharing second place on three under ahead of the weekend's closing 36 holes.
The Dallas professional – chasing a remarkable fourth tournament win in six starts – enjoyed seven birdies and two bogeys and almost finished with a birdie on the 18th that would have seen him lead by six strokes, but his putt from 15 feet came up just short.
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As it is, Scheffler equals the largest 36-hole lead in the history of the Masters last witnessed in Jordan Spieth's march to the Green Jacket in 2015. No player has squandered such a lead since 1945, but it will be interesting to see how Scheffler's nerve holds up as he closes in on a first major.
"If anything, it (the lead) gives me more confidence," he said. "Once I saw that I took the lead at one point today, and my first thought was to just keep trying to build it just because I feel like I'm playing well.
"That will be the goal going into tomorrow, just to keep putting myself in good positions, execute shots, and as long as I'm committed to everything, everything should be fine. The rest really isn't up to me.
"To be completely honest, the front nine was such a grind. The wind was crazy. There was some times where we saw the sand blowing up out of the bunkers out there.
"It was ridiculous. I think we were a little bit fortunate that it did die down a little bit towards the end of the day. It was still gusty, but you were able to find some spots where, for instance, on 16 I almost didn't even play any wind.
"We were definitely fortunate in that sense, but we were also playing in some pretty aggressive winds at the beginning of the round."

'I couldn't ask for anything more after 36 holes' - Masters leader Scheffler

Tiger Woods – who bogeyed four of his first five holes on another tough day at Augusta set against the elements and his own physical demands – is safely in for the weekend after carding a 74 in the second round to finish on one over after his opening 71.
The 15-time major champion looked in peril as he slipped to three over after dropping shots on the 11th and 12th, but birdies on 13 and 14 ensured Woods remained in touch with the chasing pack, four strokes off second place.
After returning from his life-threatening car crash in Los Angeles 14 months ago, it would not be unfair to suggest a major goal of the week has been achieved by making the cut at his first tournament in 17 months.
The cut fell at four over on Friday night, but the five-time Masters winner never looked like missing it.
"Well, I don't feel as good as I would like to feel," said Woods. "That's okay. As I said, I've got a chance going into the weekend.

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"Hopefully, I'll have one of those light bulb moments and turn it on in the weekend and get it done. You've seen guys do it with a chance going into the back nine.
If you are within five or six going into the back nine, anything can happen. I need to get myself there. That's the key. I need to get myself there.
"Tomorrow will be a big day. It's going to be cool. It's going to be tough. Again, the wind is supposed to blow again and tough scoring conditions. I need to go out there and handle my business and get into the red and get myself a chance going into that back nine on Sunday."
Pre-tournament favourite Jon Rahm carded a level par 72 to finish on two over with Rory McIlroy on the same mark after he signed for a second straight 73.
Brooks Koepka hit a second successive 75 with Spieth (76) joining him on plus six to miss the cut by two.
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