American golfer Jordon Spieth enjoys another sensational day as he fires a six-under-par 66 to take a five-shot lead into the weekend
Augusta: Jordan Spieth carried a five-stroke lead into Masters weekend on Saturday, aiming to convert two days of inspired golf into a first major title at the tender age of 21.
The Texan has set Augusta National alight with two rounds that saw him record 15 birdies against just one bogey. In so doing, he became the youngest player to lead the Masters after the first round, and his 130 halfway total is the lowest-ever in 79 editions of the year’s first major.
Jordan Spieth waves at the 18th hole during Round Two of the 79th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. Pic/AFP
He is firmly in a winning position, but remains aware that he still has much to do, as he learned last year when he led the Masters after 54 holes, but ended up tied for second behind Bubba Watson.
“Just like I’ve said each time every day, what I learned was patience,” he said after his 66 in the second round.
“What I learned was that the weekend of a major, those rounds can often seem like two rounds in kind of the mental stuff that’s running through your head; the stress levels, and sometimes they are higher.
“The hardest thing to do is put aside wanting to win so bad, and just kind of going through the motion and letting my ball striking and putting happen.”
The closest to Spieth, and the player who will be his partner for Saturday in the final pairing, is Charley Hoffman, a unheralded 39-year-old American who is something of a late bloomer.
McIlroy still in the hunt
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy just about kept his hopes of completing the career grand slam alive thanks to a brilliant finish to his second round in the 79th Masters.
McIlroy was an incredible 17 shots off the lead when he covered the front nine in 40 on Friday, but came home in 31 with four birdies, an eagle and one bogey to card a second 71.
Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri rode a roller-coaster before finally making the cut on his first appearance at the Masters here on Saturday. The 27-year-old current Asia number one, who shot one-under 71 on the first day seemed to be sitting pretty before the day began but soon ran into trouble.
Anirban became the second Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh (in 2007 and 2008) to make the cut at the Masters. Through the rest of the day, Lahiri kept getting into problems by dropping shots and then extricated himself with some sublime shots to end the day at three-over 75 that gave him a 36-hole total of two-over 146.