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Adam Scott heads Australians at Masters' halfway mark

Adam Scott today (Photo: Getty Images)
Four of the five Australians playing this week’s Masters have made it to the weekend with Adam Scott doing the best after a second round of 69 moved him to level par, into a share of 10th position and, after starting the day ten shots off the pace, he is now just four behind.

Marc Leishman is another three shots back in 19th position, Jason Day and Curtis Luck made the cut at 6 over which was the cut mark and Rod Pampling misses the cut for the first time in four appearances at Augusta National.  

After his opening round of 75 yesterday Scott needed something to get him back in the mix and he did just that with an outward nine of 32 which swept him to 1 under for the event and that point was very much heading towards the top of the leaderboard.

After driving in the right rough at the dangerous 11th he was forced to just chip out and then pitched to 25 feet and proceeded to three putt for a double bogey which temporarily slowed the momentum but he bounced back in the best possible manner with a tee shot to 20 feet at the 12th and converted for birdie.

It might well be his finish today, however, that will stand Scott in such good stead when the whips are cracking on Sunday. He managed to save par at the 17th after finding the front bunker from behind the trees and leaving himself a long way from the hole and then at the last he hit a great approach to 10 feet and converted for birdie to get to even par.

He was frustrated by not scoring as well as he had might have given the opportunities he created. “I guess it is easier to accept on a day when it is so tough like today,” he told Fox Sports. “At least I made some and all the birdies outweighed the mistakes and I am in good shape for the weekend.

“I knew if I could play an execute the way I did yesterday and just tighten up a little bit then all of a sudden ten shots becomes just four.”

Leishman came into the event as one of the more favoured amongst the Australians and while his record at Augusta National is not as great as some are suggesting having missed three of four cuts he did bring some excellent recent form to the event.

Leishman recorded the almost obligatory birdie at the second to get things moving in the right direction but was then unable to advance his cause any further. With three bogeys, including one at the last, he finished with a round of 74 to be at 3 over but, interestingly, only seven from the lead.

Curtis Luck was impressive in his first appearance at Augusta National recovering from an opening round of 78 to make the cut on the number. The West Australian and world number one amateur appeared to be well in control of a weekend place in the field when he birdied the 10th and 13th to be 4 over for the tournament and comfortably inside what appeared to be the cutline.  

He then failed to get up and down from just off the green at the 14th before another birdie at the 15th after a delightful pitch to 5 feet at the par five.

Bogeys at the 16th and 18th would create an anxious wait to see if he had done enough but it soon became apparent that he had and the 20 year old has every reason to be proud of his first appearance at one of golf’s hallowed grounds.

Luck repositioned his ball further forward in his stance after watching footage last night and felt that made a difference today. “Today I was really happy with how I played. I shot 72 and hit some really good shots,” Luck told the Masters website.  “After making only one birdie yesterday it was nice to make a few birdies on the back nine and I took advantage of the par fives.

“I wasn’t quite as nervous today after having a round under my belt yesterday. Making the cut feels awesome and I can’t wait to play Saturday and Sunday and there is a lot less pressure on me now that I have made the cut and just going out and going at a few more flags.”

Jason Day would also make the cut narrowly but his expectations, despite pre-event disruptions and an interrupted preparation, were always greater than that of debutante Luck and he will be disappointed with the letting a good start to the day (where he birdied two of the first three) finish so poorly. Another visit to the water at the 11th resulted in his second double for the week and in the end he was forced to fight for a bogey at the last just to make the weekend.

Rod Pampling missed the cut by two, the first Masters cut he has missed in four starts.





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