Garcia Has Fast Start in 2nd Round of Masters
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the second round of the Masters on Friday (Eastern times):
Sergio Garcia is in the mix at the Masters, opening the second round with three straight birdies. The run ended with a bogey on the par-3 fourth hole. Still, it's gotten Garcia into a tie for second, four shots behind Charley Hoffman.
The 37-year-old Garcia is among the golfers tagged with the dreaded title as the game's greatest never to win a major. The Spaniard would certainly love to end that at Augusta National. His best finish here was a tie for fourth in 2004. Garcia has had just one top-10 finish in his past 12 appearances.
Charley Hoffman is off and running in the second round of the Masters, a second-hole birdie restoring his four shot lead over William McGirt. Hoffman came into the day with the biggest lead after the opening round in 62 years.
After starting with a par, Hoffman kept up his birdie run — he's made six in his last nine holes — with one at the par-5 second. Hoffman was among several golfers near the top of the leaderboard who began second-round action.
Sergio Garcia started with a birdie on the first hole to get to 2 under while Lee Westwood, who began the round in third, opened with a bogey to fall into a large group tied for fourth.
Second-place McGirt was among the first golfers on the course and was at 4 under through 12 holes.
On a chilly morning at the Masters, defending champion Danny Willett began the second round with a snowman.
Willett took an 8 on the opening hole.
The misfortune began when his tee shot did not go in the bunker right of the fairway. Willett tried to balance his feet on the edge, and he didn't quite pull it off. He shanked the shot deep into the woods. From there, he pitched out of the pines and well over the green. His first pitch wasn't hard enough and rolled back down. His second pitch was hard enough. In fact, it rolled off the green back into the fairway.
He chipped up to 6 feet and missed the putt, walking off with a quadruple bogey.
Willett was one short of the record for highest score on No. 1. A year ago, Ernie Els took six putts from 2 feet in making a 9.
William McGirt had a bogey on the opening hole of the second round of the Masters after just one to start the tournament. But then the 37-year-old journeyman golfer had two birdies in his next three holes Friday to move to 4 under.
McGirt began the round in second place, four shots behind Charley Hoffman's 65. Hoffman and McGirt were the only players to shoot in the 60s and among just 11 to finish under par on Thursday in strong, gusty winds.
Hoffman tees off at 10:01 a.m.
Conditions were expected to improve for the second round. McGirt teed off under sunny skies with the winds blowing around 20 mph, roughly half the force of the gusts on Thursday.
Charley Hoffman and William McGirt were the first to take advantage of Dustin Johnson's absence at the Masters.
The odds are they won't be the last.
Hoffman had a 7-under 65 to dominate a wind-swept opening round. His four-shot lead over McGirt is the largest at Augusta National after the opening round in 62 years.
But with conditions expected to improve through the weekend, there's a host of capable challengers looking to fill the void left by the withdrawal of Johnson, the world's No. 1 player and a heavy favorite at the season's first major.
Hoffman acknowledged he was simply trying to make pars in the tricky conditions — gusts approached 40 mph, flung hats off patrons' heads and sent egg-salad sandwich wrappers blowing across greens and fairways — so he wouldn't shoot himself out of the event.
Lee Westwood, perhaps the best player without a major, was next at 2-under. The group at 1-under including three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose and former PGA champion Jason Dufner.