Boy am I glad I wrote late Thursday night that Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar and Lee Westwood were "primed to surge up the leaderboard" in Round 2. Mickelson missed the cut, McIlroy nearly missed the cut, and Kuchar and Westwood both shot one under in Round 2 and are tied for 15th.
That's just how unpredictable the 2014 Masters has been so far. Just when you think you've got a read on a golfer, he does exactly what you didn't expect to have happen.
Bubba Watson has a three-shot lead on John Senden heading into Saturday, due in no small part to the five consecutive birdies he hit on the back nine. After the round, the 2012 champion remained somewhat restrained in his celebrations on Twitter:
Given everything that has happened so far, you can't help but wonder what else will be in store over the weekend. Anything short of the green jacket turning yellow is a possibility.
When: Saturday, April 12, from 3 p.m.-7p.m. ET
Where: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.
While Watson has conquered Augusta before, few, if any could've seen his rise on the back nine coming. Notching five birdies in a row at the Masters isn't unprecedented, but it's pretty close to that standard. Watson only needed two more to tie the course record, per ESPN Stats and Info's Justin Ray:
Bubba Watson going for 5th straight birdie at 16. The Masters record is 7, done twice.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) April 11, 2014
With his second-round 68, the 35-year-old posted back-to-back scores in the 60s for the first time ever at a major tournament, per ESPN Stats and Info:
First time in Bubba Watson's career he has opened a major championship with consecutive rounds in the 60's.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 11, 2014
Watson credited his performance on Friday to the way in which he was able to get on the green.
"If I can hit greens that means I've hit good tee shots, and I hit good irons shots and just trying to make par from there and throw in a birdie here and there," he said, per ESPN.com's Bob Harig.
His coronation ceremony should be put on hold for just a little bit longer, though, given his final results on the PGA Tour after holding a 36-shot lead:
A long way to go for Bubba Watson: In PGA Tour career he's 1 for 8 converting 36-hole leads/shares of lead to wins. 1 for 7 after 54 holes— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 11, 2014
You'd back Watson to handle the pressure, given the green jacket that already resides in his closet.
Looking down the leaderboard a bit, it will be interesting to see how Senden, Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk build off their great rounds. Each shot a 68 on Friday, which tied them with Watson for the lowest score of the second round.
Senden's right on Watson's heels, Bjorn's in a tie for third and Furyk is tied for seventh. Any of those three guys can overtake the leader on Saturday, whether it's Watson or somebody else.
The same could also be said of Fred Couples, who's tied for seventh after shooting one under in Round 2. The 54-year-old has made it a habit of starting Augusta off on the right foot:
When play ends today, Fred Couples will be the only player to be in the top-10 at the Masters after 36 holes each of the last 5 years— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) April 11, 2014
Couples stated the obvious after entering the clubhouse on Friday.
"I feel really comfortable here at Augusta," he said, per GolfChannel.com's Jay Coffin.
For as old as he is, Couples can still drive a golf ball like few others:
54-year-old Fred Couples averaged 287 yards off the tee while the field averaged 283. There's a reason they call him Boom Boom.— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) April 12, 2014
Over the last three years in the Masters, Couples has struggled on Saturday, posting a 77, 75 and 72, respectively. All three of those scores were his highest of the tournament up to that point. Perhaps fatigue becomes an issue. Maybe he looks up at the leaderboard, and the expectations begin to get a little too overwhelming.
He must have had that in mind when he told Coffin, "I have to keep plugging along and not worry about anyone other than myself."
Even if Couples fades down the stretch, seeing him near the top of the leaderboard after two days is always a joy for golf fans.
Who knows? With the way the tournament has unfolded so far, maybe he can spring the surprise on everybody.
His performance on Saturday will reveal whether or not he's truly a legitimate contender to win.