Masters 2021: Justin Rose stumbles in nightmare start but shares lead with Marc Leishman

Struggling to make the cut to the low 50 and ties after opening 76s were reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who struggled to his worst opening round at the Masters.

Agence France-Presse April 09, 2021 23:51:27 IST
Masters 2021: Justin Rose stumbles in nightmare start but shares lead with Marc Leishman

Justin Rose waits to putt on the 13th hole during the second round of the Masters on Friday. AP Photo

Augusta: Justin Rose opened with four bogeys in the first seven holes to squander the lead but rallied with a birdie at the par-5 13th to share the top spot with Australian Marc Leishman in Friday's second round of the Masters.

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger fired a six-under par 66 to grab the clubhouse lead on four-under par 140 after 36 holes at Augusta National, one adrift of Rose and Leishman.

Rose, twice a Masters runner-up, fired his lowest round in 59 tours at Augusta with a seven-under par 65 on Thursday to lead by four, matching the largest 18-hole Masters edge since 1941.

But the 40-year-old Englishman, whose only major title came at the 2013 US Open, stumbled badly in Friday's cool and overcast conditions.

That opened the door for Wiesberger and Leishman to battle for the lead.

Leishman, seeking his first major title, opened with three straight birdies and answered a bogey at the par-4 11th with birdies at the par-3 12th and par-5 13th and another at the par-5 15th.

World No 54 Wiesberger, without a top-10 finish in 24 major starts, had four birdies in the first five holes to reach 2-under, added another at the par-5 eighth and rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-4 10th.

At 15, Wiesberger went left into trees, blasted back to the fairway and dropped his approach six feet from the hole to set up a birdie to briefly share the lead ahead of three closing pars.

Reigning Olympic champion Rose found trees to the right off the first tee on his way to an opening bogey for the second consecutive day.

At the 575-yard par-5 second, Rose chipped his third shot within three feet of the cup and rolled in the birdie putt.

Trouble returned, however, at the par-3 fourth and sixth and par-4 seventh holes.

On four, Rose was short of the green and his putt up a rise barely clung to the top edge. From there he putted to three feet and found the right side of the cup for bogey.

At six, Rose missed the upper tier of the green and his second shot rolled back to him. He sank an eight-footer to rescue bogey.

At seven, Rose sent his approach into a greenside bunker and missed a 15-foot par putt, rescuing bogey from five feet.

Rose, ranked 41st, could only muster pars at eight through 12 on Friday after an eagle and three birdies a day before.

But at 13, Rose had a 35-foot eagle look and tapped-in for a birdie to match Leishman for the lead on 5-under.

Finau ablaze

American Brian Harman and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama were one adrift.

Also at 3-under overall was American Tony Finau, who eagled the second and birdied the sixth, eighth and ninth holes.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, who snapped a four-year win drought last week in Texas, birdied the second to reach two-under.

World No 3 Jon Rahm, who only arrived at Augusta National on the eve of the event, opened on par 72. The Spaniard was with his wife Kelley, who gave birth to son Kepa on Saturday.

Top-ranked defending champion Dustin Johnson opened on 74, as did Brooks Koepka, a four-time major winner coming off right knee surgery last month.

Second-ranked Justin Thomas, who can overtake Johnson for world number one with a victory this week, was on 73, as was another American, 2020 PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa.

Struggling to make the cut to the low 50 and ties after opening 76s were reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who struggled to his worst opening round at the Masters.

 

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