Halftime at the Masters, which is the perfect time to reassess and realize how stupid we all are for trying to predict what will happen at Augusta.
PATRICK REED (-9): The 27 year old Texan shot Gronk’s favorite score in round 1 (69), and followed it up with 66 to take sole position of 1st place after 36 holes. He found fairways, greens, and most of all, put on a clinic with the putter. One more round like that and he’ll be running away with it.
MARC LEISHMAN (-7): Solid first round, absolute granite in the second. Only one bogey which he followed up with an eagle.
HENRIK STENSON (-5): Looked shaky at times on the back nine on Friday, but still within striking distance. Plus, he’s got the temperament for the weekend at a major.
RORY MCILROY (-4): Went out in 37 in round 2, but came home in 34 to give himself a shot at his first green jacket.
JORDAN SPIETH (-4): After an opening round 66, Spieth started his Friday double bogey-bogey on route to a front nine 40. His back nine 34 saved what could have been a disastrous 2nd round, but he missed a huge opportunity to run away with the tournament early.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Dustin Johnson (-3), Justin Thomas (-3), Rickie Fowler (-2), Bubba Watson (-2), Charley Hoffman (-2), Justin Rose (-2). These guys all have the game to go low (or lowish) on Saturday and Sunday, but they’re going to need the contenders to fall back a bit.
JON RAHM (-1): Needed to shoot 32 on the back nine Friday to get within 8 shots of the leader. Think he can keep that up, or even come close? Me neither.
MATT KUCHAR (-1): Love him. Good guy. But he’s not gonna have time to make up that much ground.
ZACH JOHNSON (E): See above.
VIJAY SINGH (+1), FRED COUPLES (+2), TIGER WOODS (+4): “They’ve won here before! They know the course like no one else!” Stop it. None of these guys will have enough left in the tank to make a charge on the back 9 on Sunday, which is where this thing will ultimately be won.
READY TO GO OUT ON A BENDER:
SERGIO GARCIA: The defending champion didn’t shoot the proverbial “trunk slammer” on Friday (a round so bad that the only thing to do is throw your clubs into the back of your courtesy vehicle, slam the trunk and drive to the airport): Nope, that happened on one hole – actually, one shot – on Thursday. A relatively easy approach on 15 became a 5-balls-into-the-water instant classic, and proved to be the undoing of the defending champion. What sucks most for him is that can’t tuck tail and get the hell out of Dodge. Instead, he has to stick around and help the winner into his green jacket on Sunday night.
Saturday is generally regarded as “moving day,” but Friday provided enough ups and downs on the leader board to make me think round 3 will be tame by comparison.
— By Rob “Hardy” Poole, 98.5 The Sports Hub
You can hear Hardy’s thoughts weekdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ET on the Zolak & Bertrand program. As well as the Sports Hub Golf Club every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET during the season. Follow him on Twitter @HardyRadio.