The first round of the Masters is in the books, but there is no telling how things will play out in the coming days. Several golfers have positioned themselves to make a run; however, one bad round could put a stop to that.
Those in contention will do everything possible to avoid that fate in Friday's second round at Augusta, while the golfers who started off in less than ideal fashion still have the opportunity to dig themselves out of a hole.
A lot can happen in three rounds of golf, so a large portion of the field still has a fighting chance. Here is a closer look at everything you need to know about the second round of the Masters, including the leaderboard, winning odds and storylines worth following.
|Winning Odds for 2014 Masters|
Odds courtesy of Vegas Insider.
Top Storylines to Watch on Day 2
How Will Past Masters Winners Fare?
Tiger Woods is not part of the field, but a number of former Masters winners came into the tournament with designs on winning yet again. Some of them have gotten off to fantastic starts, while others may need a miracle to turn things around.
Adam Scott won the green jacket for the first time in his career last year, and he seemed poised to potentially do so again through the early portion of the first round. Scott is very much in the mix, although he shot himself in the foot with a double bogey, according to ESPN Stats & Info:
Trends are obviously meant to be broken, but Scott will be working against recent history in his effort to repeat as champion.
Another name worth keeping tabs on is Fred Couples. The 54-year-old legend won the Masters way back in 1992, and he hasn't won another major since. Couples often puts himself in good position early in majors, but he tends to fade. Couples is in a solid spot after a one-under-par round, but it remains to be seen if he can keep it up.
Other former winners, such as Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, will certainly be on the radar as well, but there is potential for a great story if Couples is able to keep it up.
Will Dark Horses Remain in the Hunt?
One of the most interesting aspects of the Masters, or any major, is the potential for unfamiliar names to make noise in the early going. That was once again the case in the first round, as Jonas Blixt, Kevin Stadler, Gary Woodland and Jimmy Walker all carded scores of two-under 70.
None of them was discussed as a potential winner prior to Thursday, but analysts now have no choice but to consider their chances. The 29-year-old Blixt is particularly interesting, as he was one of the first golfers on the course in the first round.
He played steadily and consistently throughout the early part of the round, and he now finds himself in uncharted territory. Per ESPN Stats & Info, he is not used to being near the top of the leaderboard in majors:
Blixt's play did tail off a bit as the day went on, but he proved that he was capable of dominating the course in the early going, according to the Masters on Twitter:
The intriguing Swede has been all over the map this season in terms of his finishes, and while he doesn't have a top-10 result to his credit, he performed well in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He can't afford to fade like he did on Thursday, but at least he knows he can hang with the top guys when he is at his best.
Biggest Bounce-Back Candidates
Plenty of potential contenders started the Masters with a major hiccup. The odds are certainly stacked against them in terms of battling back and winning the tournament, but anything can happen if they string together three great rounds.
Angel Cabrera and Zach Johnson, both former Masters winners, were expected to potentially challenge for a win. But both of them stumbled out of the gates, which had Ryan Lavner of GolfChannel.com rethinking his sleeper picks:
Things only got worse for them from there, and they both finished six over par. They need to have great rounds on Friday just to give themselves a little bit of hope for the weekend.
If anyone can do it, Cabrera can. He took Scott to a second playoff hole last year but fell short of his second green jacket. Perhaps there is a little magic left for "The Duck."
Another name to consider is Ian Poulter. As skilled as Poulter is, he has long struggled at major tournaments. Poulter is at four over par, and even though his form isn't particularly good right now, he has a positive attitude.
I'm 38, I'm getting on and I'd like to win a Major. I put myself under pressure to go and win one of these tournaments and I expect that of myself. I expect to play well on this golf course and if I do that we'll have to see what happens on Sunday. I've put the work in and done the practice. It's a golf course I know and have played many times. I've hit enough putts and chipped from enough areas here to know what it is going to do. I'll work and see if it's enough.
Poulter has a lot of work to do before he can even think about winning the Masters this year, but he has the skills to get back in the game.
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