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The Masters Develops a British Accent

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IApril 9, 2010

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 09:  Ian Poulter of England waves to the gallery on the 18th green after a four-under par 68 during the second round of the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 9, 2010 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Augusta National abruptly shut down the birdie buffet before Friday's second round.

While the field was feasting on Thursday, there was a famine on Friday but a pair of Brits managed to keep their own sub-par picnic open for business.

The 74th Masters at the halfway point has developed a distinct British accent.

In the UK, they used to refer to Lee Westwood as the "Tiger Woods of Europe" when he was up and coming.

Snazzing dressing Ian Pouler proclaimed a while back that he was ready to challenge Woods for that No. 1 world ranking.

Now they'll see if they can beat Woods for a Masters title.

Both players found themselves tied for the second round lead at Augusta and it's because they're the only players to break 70 in both rounds. They were tied at 8-under and found themselves looking back at Woods and a marvelous cast of contenders looking to slip on the Green Jacket Sunday afternoon.

Their 136 totals put them two shots ahead of Woods, Phil Mickelson, Anthony Kim, Ricky Barnes and K.J. Choi and three ahead of the Tiger Killer -- Y.E. Yang.

And there were still two candidates for the early bird special not far behind -- first round leader Fred Couples and his senior sidekick, two-time Masters champion Tom Watson. Both struggled Friday, especially Couples who was bothered by a stiff back all day and bogeyed the last three holes and found himself at 141 with Watson and Soren Kjeldsen.

Things got testy for the field after the birdie-rich Thursday setup. Pins were tougher, tees were farther back and the greens became slicker.

There were 31 players under par Thursday, only 20 after 36 holes and the attrition will continue over the weekend.

With perfect weather on tap, the course will get faster, the greens slicker and the scores higher.

That's how they plan it, and that's what's in store for these contenders.

While the Brits stand at the top, Woods and Mickelson will command the bulk of Saturday's attention.

Both have provided firm answers to questions about the state of their games prior to this tournament.

Thursday's leaderboard was world-class and Friday's was no different.

The birdie barrage is over, but the real drama is yet to come.

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