There were plenty of story lines leading into today’s second round. Gary Player was playing in his final Masters, making a record 52nd appearance. The highly spiritual golfer took a symbolic knee before walking up onto the 18th green to a standing ovation...which was just one of many.
"I had a standing ovation on all 36 holes," Player said. "How do you let people know how much you appreciate the love?"
Fuzzy Zoeller, whose daughter was caddying for him, blew a kiss to the spectators before he vanished into the crowd and headed off to sign one last Masters scorecard.
"I hope everybody's had fun, because I enjoyed my ride," said Zoeller, who shot a 76 in his final round.
"Now it's time to step aside and let some other young kid come in and win."
It may not be a young kid that puts on the Green Jacket however. Kenny Perry represented the older players on tour well by heading into the weekend tied with Chad Campbell for the lead at -9; Campbell shot a second round 67.
"I really believe I can win this tournament," said the 48-year old Perry.
Another Masters record was set on Friday as Anthony Kim made a record 11 birdies on his way to a second round low score of 65. "I haven't been making 11 birdies in two days," Kim said. "To make 11 in one day is pretty special, and to do it at Augusta is incredible."
Another incredible day at Augusta it was.
No one made a bigger move on the second day than Kim, who improved on his first round score by 10 strokes. A member of the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup team of last season, Kim is the young to Perry’s old, and the emotional to Campbell’s calm.
"If I can keep my putter hot, I like my chances here," said Kim, who is playing in his first Masters.
After worrying about whether or not he was going to make the cut after day one, Kim has put himself in position to win a Green Jacket in his rookie campaign.
Chad Campbell started strong again, recording birdies on two of the first four holes, and managed to stretch his lead to as many as five shots before falling back to the pack and finishing at nine under.
This is not the first time that Campbell has headed into the weekend with the lead.
Three years ago Campbell held the lead at the Masters heading into the weekend. After a rain-plagued third round that took two days, Campbell faltered and eventually finished third; Phil Mickelson was the eventual winner.
"It's nice that I have been in this position before," Campbell said. "There's a long ways to go, but it's definitely nice to not be on foreign ground."
The weather should be a factor again this year.
After a record opening round that saw 38 players shoot under par, stiff winds and firm greens made the second round as formidable as any round all year.
The tough pin placements in round two didn’t help either.
Several marquee names were humbled by the mighty Augusta National course. Among those missing the cut were Jose Maria Olazabal, Adam Scott, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Justin Leonard.
Tiger has been clogging his way along, shooting an even par 72, and is at -2. Seven shots off the lead, Tiger is left shaking his head thinking of what could have been in the first two rounds.
"A lot of wasted opportunities today," Woods said. "I didn't get a whole lot out of my round."
While Tiger may be the best golfer in the world outside of six feet, his putting continues to be his Achilles' heel when the rest of his game is clicking on all cylinders.
"I hit some good putts, a little bit better today than yesterday, but I didn't make many," Woods said. "Obviously, I need to putt a little better than I have."
Augusta toyed with the field on Thursday, allowing for record lows, but one of golf’s most famous courses returned to it’s bitter self by inducing a hard dose of reality to those hoping to capitalize on the first day’s momentum.
There were 354 birdies in round one, round two yielded only 286.
The number of bogeys increased from 323 to 373, and the double bogeys rose from 32 to 48. There was only one score of worse than double bogey in the first round, in the second round there were five.
The one oddity that can be found on the second day is that the number of eagles nearly tripled, from six on the first day, to 17 on the second day.
Hole 8 – Yellow Jasmine – Par Five – 570 yards
Jasmine continued to be her sweet self, and a favorite among the field in regards to scoring.
There were only 11 scores worse than par recorded on the long par five in round two; 10 bogeys and one double bogey.
Playing to a 4.8 average, after yielding two eagles and 30 birdies, the eighth hole played as the third easiest hole on the day.
Only two of the 32 players in red figures heading into the weekend bogeyed the eighth hole; Tim Clark and Geoff Ogilvy were the culprits.
Of those same 32 players, there were nine birdies and one eagle recorded.
Heading into the weekend, as long as the weather doesn’t go completely south, expect the field to take full advantage of this easy par five.
Heading into the turn, this is a hole that those in the hunt will certainly play aggressively, and try to take advantage of.
Hole 9 – Carolina Cherry – Par Four – 460 yards
The ninth hole continued to hang in the middle of the pact in difficulty; it played as the ninth most difficult hole.
Only 14 players managed to birdie the Cherry, as opposed to the 29 bogeys and one double bogey.
Playing to a 4.2 average, the pin placement affected this hole perhaps more than any other.
Of the 32 players in red figures, there are eight who bogeyed this hole, compared to only four birdies from those same players.
How this hole is played will be highly dependant on the weather. If the conditions continue to worsen, players need to turn conservative on this hole, as the false front could create a lot of problems.
Keeping the ball in the fairway is crucial on this hole, just as is hitting the green with the second shot.
The players who go conservative on this hole, and just focus on fairway-green-par, are the ones who will find themselves in the hunt all weekend.
Hole 10 – Camellia – Par Four – 495 yards
Camellia continued to haunt the rounds of her unsuspecting male victims.
Playing as the third toughest hole on the course, the 10th hole kicks off a run of the three hardest holes in the field; the 11th plays as the second toughest and the 12th is playing as Augusta’s hardest.
Playing to a 4.3 average, only seven birdies were recorded on the 10th.
Camellia proved to be just as disastrous as tradition warned. 27 bogeys, four double bogeys and one nine by Danny Lee were recorded on the 10th hole in the second round.
Five of the players in red figures succeeded on their date with Camellia by recording birdies.
Five others recorded bogeys, and two were brutalized for a double bogey.
The one thing that is becoming increasingly evident is that those who manage to survive the tenth are finding themselves in red figures.
The 10th hole will prove to be one of the most crucial holes of the weekend. Kicking off the back nine with a par or better is going to be crucial for those atop the leader board.
The players that accept Camellia for what she is, and go conservative, will find themselves in position to put on the Green Jacket come Sunday.
Regardless of weather, expect players to smarten up to her ways and start to go for long irons, possible a fairway wood if the wind is in their face, and then another mid-ranged iron into the green.
Hitting the green will be crucial on the 10th as the greenside bunker does not grant much room for error.