Masters 2011: Recapping Friday's Second-Round Action

Chris PolsonContributor IApril 8, 2011

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 08:  Tiger Woods watches his second shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

The young guns of the PGA Tour are in control going into the weekend of the first major of the season.

But there's a Tiger on the prowl.

Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, who played together for the first two rounds and will play together again tomorrow, claim the top two spots.  But Tiger Woods, who went 7-under in his last 11 holes, is in a tie for third, one shot out of second place and three off the lead.

McIllroy and Day aren't the only young guns hanging around, though.  Their playing partner Rickie Fowler, who was the eldest of the group at the ripe old age of 23, is only five shots back.  Many of the other younger stars (at least younger than Tiger, who's 35), including former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, Ricky Barnes and Sergio Garcia, are all within shouting distance.

But let's not count out the "older" guys just yet.

The betting favorite and defending champ Phil Mickelson had an up-and-down day and ended his round even, keeping him at 2-under, which is eight shots off the lead.  He'll need a weekend like he had in Houston less than a week ago if he wants to repeat as champion.

Former No. 1 Lee Westwood isn't out of this thing yet, either.  Since current No. 1 Martin Kaymer didn't make the cut (and never has at Augusta), Westwood could be the guy to put Europe back on top at Augusta if McIlroy falters.

And how about 51-year old Fred Couples?  He shot a 4-under round of 68 to once again put himself in contention at Augusta.  Anybody that has watched this tournament over the years knows that Couples is almost always in the mix.  In fact, he's only missed the cut once in his entire Masters career.

But unless Fred and Phil make a run, all eyes will be on the resurgent Woods, who put up one of his better rounds in some time.  Tiger can handle the pressure, and from what I've seen over the past few majors, a lot of the "young guns" couldn't hold up under the pressure.  So come Sunday, this could be Tiger's tournament to lose.

Maybe it's the new teacher, or maybe there's some new equipment involved, but Tiger Woods looks poised to make quite a run.

Or maybe he just needed a new steady girlfriend.