Spieth, McIlroy Headline Heading Into The Weekend At Augusta

The 2016 Masters was always going to be hard-pressed to live up to the hype wave that it rode into Augusta this week. However, a Saturday final pairing of world No. 2 Jordan Spieth and world No. 3 Rory McIlroy — not to mentioned big names like Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett all lurking — is living up to it.

Things didn’t look like they were going to be as cozy at the top of the leaderboard as they turned out to. Spieth, holding a two-stroke lead coming into Friday, saw it grow to four, then five after opening birdies at Nos. 1 and 2. At 8-under par and five shots clear, it looked as if the 2016 Masters was simply going to be a repeat of the 2015 renewal. 

An uncharacteristic four-putt (!) by Spieth on the par-4 sixth hole dropped him back to even for the day, 6-under for the week and back within striking distance of the mob hovering around 2- to 4-under par.  

Stiff breezes and fast greens combined to wreak havoc on the field. Only four players managed to shoot under par rounds on Friday — Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger and Troy Merritt. That foursomes prize for such a stellar second round was that none of them are more than five shots back of Spieth.

As golf’s present and future prepare to do battle over the weekend at Augusta National, Friday evening saw the last competitive round at Augusta National by one of golf’s elder statesmen.

The full leaderboard is available here.

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