Rose keeps one-shot lead at masters

(Agence France-Presse) - April 11, 2021 - 12:00am

Justin Rose squandered a four-shot advantage, then birdied three of the last six holes to seize a one-stroke lead after Friday’s second round of the 85th Masters.

The 40-year-old Englishman overcame a nightmare start to fire a level par 72 and stand on seven-under 137 after 36 holes at Augusta National.

Rose, twice a Masters runner-up, fired a 65 on Thursday to lead by four, matching the largest 18-hole Masters edge since 1941.

But the reigning Olympic champion began Friday with four bogeys in his first seven holes, briefly losing the lead before a sparkling late fightback restored him to the top.

“It was just a classic day at Augusta National. When you’re just a foot or two off you can end up struggling,” Rose said. “But I’m still leading so I’ll enjoy it and keep going.”

Will Zalatoris, who could become the first Masters debutant winner since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, and Brian Harman shared second on 138.

The US duo only qualified for the Masters off last week’s world rankings, but one could take his first major title by winning the green jacket.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, who snapped a four-year win drought last weekend, shared third on 139 with Australian Marc Leishman.

“If I can shoot 5-under on the weekend, that might be good enough,” Spieth said.

A pack three back on 140 included second-ranked Justin Thomas, fellow Americans Tony Finau and Cameron Champ, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and South Korean Kim Si-woo.

Thomas could overtake Dustin Johnson for world number one with a victory.

Reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau birdied three of the last four holes to stand on 143, finally finding form with his long-driving style.

Also missing the cut were four-time major winners Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy, England’s Lee Westwood and Australia’s Jason Day.

American Matthew Wolff was disqualified for returning an incorrect scorecard.

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