Augusta (US), Apr 7 (PTI) A surging Sergio Garcia moved up to shar the lead halfway through his second round, even as the unlikely first round leader Charley Hoffman fell rapidly at the Augusta Masters, here today.
Hoffman slipped with five bogeys in six holes between sixth and 11th.
Hoffman shot an early birdie to move to eighth-under, even as Garcia, one group behind, birdied first three in a row.
Then Hoffman began unraveling from the sixth and Garcia kept rolling on igniting hopes of an emotional Sunday, which coincides with the legendary Seve Ballesteros’ 60th birthday.
Garcia, who shot 71 on first day, was on fire in front nine with four birdies and one bogey to move to three-under for the day.
As Hoffman dropped a fifth bogey, the Spanish heart throb momentarily held sole lead at four-under, before he himself dropped a shot on 10th.
Overnight second, Willie McGirt, a first-timer at Augusta, dropped late bogeys on 14th and 18th for a round of 73 after going out first today.
He was the clubhouse leader at two-under 142 and overall third.
Lee Westwood, two-under in first round, had a eventful two-over front nine with four bogeys and two birdies.
Apart from Garcia others making a move were Ryan Moore, three-under through 16, 22-year-old Spaniard Jon Rahm, reckoned to be a dark horse, was two-under through eight holes. Moore was now one-under as was Rahm.
Defending champion Danny Willett, after 73 on first day, was five-over through 14 on second and in danger of missing the cut.
Top-50 and ties and those within 10 shots of the lead will make the weekend.
A little before midway through the second round, there were just 10 players in red-figures. Tied for fourth at one-under were seven players — Moore (74), Rahm (73), Soren Kjeldsen (72) and Andy Sullivan (71), who had all begun second round.
Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson and Mathew Fitzpatrick, all 71 on first day, were yet to start second rounds.
Rory McIlroy, even on first day, was even through an action-packed nine with three birdies and three bogeys in second round.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.