Spieth Remains in Control at Augusta


Jordan Spieth walks up 18 at Augusta National at a record setting -14 after 36 holes. Photo courtesy of Brian Snyder/ Reuters

Jordan Spieth at the 18th hole Friday at Augusta National to the tune of a record setting -14 after 36 holes. Photo courtesy of Brian Snyder/ Reuters

By: Kayla Mortellaro

Jordan Spieth continued to be the story at Augusta National on day two.

Spieth joined the history books once more after shooting a six under, 66 on Friday afternoon to position himself in the lead at -14 after 36 holes. The previous 36 hole lead at the Masters was held by Raymond Floyd in 1976 at -13.

Chasing down Spieth is Charley Hoffman who sits in second place at nine under for the tournament. At 38- years-old, Hoffman has three PGA Tour wins in his nine year career. Previously, his best finish at Augusta came in 2011 at a tie for 27th.

Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey are in a tie for third on the Masters leaderboard at seven under par. Out of this trio, Rose is the only one with major championship hardware to his credit. Rose won the 2013 U.S. Open.

Johnson set a record of his own though around Augusta becoming the first player to record three eagles in one round of golf. Those eagles were offset by a double bogey, two bogies and three birdies to post a 67 on Friday.

Casey has seen a resurgence in his game as of late but can draw upon past experience to help him at Augusta. He finished in a tie for sixth in 2004.

Joining Casey in the hunt is fellow Arizona State University alum and three-time Masters Champion, Phil Mickelson. Mickelson’s game has been subpar to his standards for the last year and a half but driving up Magnolia Lane this year has rejuvenated the 44-year-old. Lefty, as he is known in the game, is in sixth place at six under par for 36 holes of play.

The conditions remained perfect for scoring and players rose to the occasion. However, a lot of ground will need to be made up on Saturday, otherwise known as moving day, to have a chance at catching Spieth, who has only made one bogey after two rounds.

World number one, Rory McIlroy avoided missing the cut with a late back nine charge that included an eagle, four birdies and one bogey after making the turn at 40. McIlory will have his work cut out for him to try and earn the career grand slam as he is 12 strokes behind Spieth in a tie for 19th.

Others tied with McIlroy are defending champion, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods.

Woods’s game returned to him at a place he loves where he has made so many lasting golf memories. He too, sits 12 strokes behind the leader, but he will be around for the weekend at a major for the first time since the 2014 Open Championship.

Woods and the Masters have a synonymous ring to it and his play has proven he loves the place. Back in 1997, Woods burst on to the scene with his 12 shot victory. In a stunning set of statistics, Spieth comparably loves the stroll around Augusta National. After Woods and Spieth’s first six rounds at Augusta, they both were -19 and recorded 29 birdies. Woods had 14 bogies or worse, while Spieth had just 12.

Adding more to the aura of what Spieth is doing at the Masters in 2015 is the full circle effect Woods and Spieth share. After round two, Woods trails 21-year-old Spieth by 12 strokes while in 1997 Woods won by 12 at the age of 21.

While the youth movement has been ongoing, the tradition of the Masters allows champions to return to the event for life until they decide their game isn’t up to competitive standards. This year the tournament says goodbye to a two-time champion, Ben Crenshaw. Crenshaw won in 1984 and again in 1995 in one of the most emotional victories after having lost his mentor and golfer instructor Harvey Penick. The 63-year-old won 19 PGA Tour events and was greeted to a standing ovation on the 18th hole on Friday evening.

Day three of the Masters continues Saturday where the field takes aim at Spieth where all of the competitors hope to wear the green jacket on Sunday night.