The Masters 2014: Final Reaction to End-of-Day 2 Leaderboard

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2014

Bubba Watson walks down the 14th fairway during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 11, 2014, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum

Like the day prior, the Day 2 leaderboard at Augusta is in no way what most thought it would look like as surprises and wily veterans alike mastered the challenging course to post some eye-popping scores.

Bubba Watson was the story on Friday as some of Thursday's top names faded. It wouldn't have mattered—Watson's dominance placed him well ahead of the field:

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It's quite remarkable what Watson has been able to do over the course of 48 hours, especially considering he was firmly an afterthought behind names like Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy.

After a 69 on Thursday, Watson went out on Friday and did himself one better with a four-under 68—good for a bit of personal history, as captured by ESPN Stats & Info:

Oh, and it just so happens that the impressive day puts Watson in excellent position as the field enters the weekend:

Arguably playing the best tournament of his career thus far, Watson strung together five straight birdies on holes 12 through 16 and said after he hit the clubhouse that his level of play is right where he wants it, per Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel:

Who can slow Watson's roll—if not himself as his last-hole bogey hinted at shades of his typical implosion—now that he has jumped so far ahead of the field?

Fred Couples, of course.

A legend at Augusta, Couples shot a one-under 71 on the day, after a 71 on Thursday, once again putting himself in a good position to contend:

Want a few more surprises? How about high-risers like John Senden and Thomas Bjorn?

Senden also shot a four-under 68 on the day, which jumped him 18 spots in the standings and put him in a prime position to make a run at Watson's top spot.

Thomas Bjorn
Thomas BjornDarron Cummings

Bjorn made an even more impressive jump thanks to the same score, as he jumped 24 slots to enter the logjam behind Watson and Senden.

His rise was extremely predictable. For whatever reason, Bjorn annually dominates the second round of the Masters and shot eight birdies to climb back into contention.

Now for the bad.

After dominating the leaderboard on Thursday, Bill Haas dropped in a big way thanks to a stunning 78. Cinderella (hey, it's still sort of close to March) Louis Oosthuizen dropped as well, as he imploded with a 75.

Phil Mickelson turned in a better performance than the day prior, but his 73 still wasn't good enough to make the cut.

If the first two days have been a good indicator of what's to come, things are about to get hectic this weekend after the first cut.

The Masters are one of the most important sporting events around the globe each year for a reason, and the first two days were just the opening salvo to what has the makings of yet another classic four rounds at Augusta.


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