08 Apr 2023 | Professional golf |
The Masters: Day stays in contention as weather intervenes
by Australian Golf Media
By Tony Webeck
Four dropped shots in his final four holes left a sour taste as Jason Day was the sole Australian to complete his round on a weather-affected day two at The Masters. Following an earlier weather delay that took players from the course for a 21-minute period, play was ultimately suspended for the day 54 minutes after the resumption when strong gusts of wind felled three pine trees near the 17th hole as Aussies Harrison Crowe and Min Woo Lee putted on the adjacent 16th green. No patrons were injured but the subsequent clean-up and continuing inclement weather led Augusta National Golf Club officials to evacuate the grounds and call an end to the day’s play. Round 2 will resume at 10pm Saturday AEST. Day’s 72 was the only completed score among the five Aussies in the field but it could have been so much better. Two birdies in his opening three holes brought the Queenslander within one of the lead and when he birdied the par-5 13th he was three strokes back of Brooks Koepka (67). But a double-bogey on 15 and bogeys at 16 and 18 saw Scott post an even-par round to be five-under for the tournament and seven strokes from the lead in a tie for sixth. Video interviews and transcripts of Jason Day and Ryan Fox are available at The Masters virtual media centre. Register for access by clicking here. Adam Scott is one stroke further back at four-under having played 10 holes on Friday in even par, a spectacular eagle at the par-5 eighth the final completed hole for Cameron Smith as he sits at two-under and in a tie for 22nd. Crowe (five-over) and Lee (six-over) will putt out on 16 when play resumes on Saturday but look unlikely to make the projected cut of two-over. Kiwi Ryan Fox continues to impress in his Masters debut, three-under through 36 holes and tied for 18th after a round of one-under 71 on Friday. Battling a bout of the flu, Fox made birdie at 16 for the second straight day, coming within just a couple of feet of a hole-in-one. "It looked really, really good," Fox said of his tee shot at the famous par 3. "We had a really good number. I think we had 156 meters straight down, maybe a little out of the right, and figured if I could draw a wedge and pitch it 150 it should be pretty good. "It was literally the exact shot I drew up, which was nice. I don't think I hit too many of those today. "I know there's a lot of Kiwis that have traveled over for the week. Nice to give them someone to follow for the weekend." Despite missing a birdie putt from five feet on 14, Day strode to the 15th tee four-under on his round and within three strokes of runaway leader Koepka. A tee shot that ran through the fairway to the left and into the first cut blocked Day from going for the green with his second. He laid up to 82 yards but hit his 60-degree wedge fat and barely made it halfway into the pond fronting the green. His pitch from the drop zone left 28 feet for bogey, his attempt finishing one foot to the left of the cup as he tapped in for double-bogey. He missed par putts from four feet on 16 and three feet on 18 to drop to five-under for the tournament and seven shots from the lead, the 35-year-old unable to hide his disappointment in his post-round press conference. “I'm actually very disappointed with how I finished,” said a clearly dejected Day. “Being decently close to where Brooks was going into the weekend, you never know how it goes, and obviously going from nine (under) to five was a bit of a kick in the gut. “I've just got to give myself time. I've just got off the golf course and I'm thoroughly annoyed with myself, and I'm sitting here answering questions. “That can be difficult because it's in the heat of the moment, and I'm trying to get ahold of myself.” For the first 14 holes of his round Day looked all the world like the player who contended for the green jacket in 2011 and 2013. Two brilliant shots set up a two-putt birdie at the par-5 second which he followed with a birdie from just three feet at the par-4 third to draw within one stroke of the lead. A poor chip on eight and a par putt that came up only a couple of inches short led to a bogey but Day brought the Masters patrons to their feet with a chip-in birdie on 11 from 22 yards right of the green. A 55-yard pitch to three feet delivered another birdie on 13 to get to nine-under but he would give all four of the shots he had picked up back in his closing four holes. Round 2 scoreboard
T6 Jason Day (72) T10 Adam Scott (E through 10) T18 Ryan Fox (NZ) (71) T22 Cameron Smith (E through eight) T61 Harrison Crowe (two-over through 15) T70 Min Woo Lee (three-over through 15)
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