Rose clings to Masters lead; defending champion Johnson misses cut

Augusta, Georgia, Apr 9 (EFE).- England’s Justin Rose held on to his lead at the Masters after shooting an even-par 72 on Friday, while American defending champion and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson missed the cut following a second straight disappointing round.

The 40-year-old Rose, winner of the 2013 US Open and a two-time runner-up at the Augusta National Golf Club, got off to a dreadful start in his second round but managed to regroup on the back nine.

He made bogeys on holes one, four, six and seven to fall to 4-under and relinquish the four-shot lead he had enjoyed after shooting a 7-under on Thursday.

Like he did in the first round, however, the world No. 41 went on a tear on the back nine, carding birdies on holes 13, 14 and 16 to push his score back to 7-under and reclaim the tournament lead.

Even so, he now has plenty of company around him.

American Brian Harman, who was tied for second after the first round, is still in that same position but now stands at 6-under after shooting a second-straight 3-under 69.

The diminutive Harman pounded fairway after fairway and sank five birdie putts, including a 10-footer on 18 that allowed him to birdie that challenging hole for the second straight round.

He is tied with countryman Will Zalatoris, who like Harman gained entry into the Masters with a ranking just inside the top 50,

Zalatoris was well off the lead at 1-under after making a bogey on the par-4 ninth hole, but five birdies on the last eight holes have put the 24-year-old into contention heading into the weekend.

Other golfers in strong position at the halfway point of this major tournament include Americans Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion, and Justin Thomas, the world No. 2, who stand at 5-under and 4-under, respectively.

But Johnson, who won the coronavirus-postponed 2020 Masters with a record score of 20-under five months ago, followed up his 74 on Thursday with a 75 on Friday to finish at 5-over and miss the cut by two strokes.

Another big name out of the tournament after two rounds is American Brooks Koepka, a winner of four major titles whose best result at Augusta came in 2019 when he finished tied for second. EFE


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