Garcia at peace with Augusta National but no surrender

  • Garcia at peace with Augusta National but no surrender

Garcia at peace with Augusta National but no surrender

7, 11 and 16.

In a somber tribute to Arnold Palmer, who died in September, Augusta National chairman Billy Payne escorted Palmer's widow to the first tee for the honorary start.

Much the way he doesn't worry about how first-timers generally don't play well at the Masters or how it takes time to get the feel of a layout like Augusta.

"For lack of any better words, it was a dream", he said. That would be American Dustin Johnson, and it sounds painful: His trainer says he was heading out to the garage to move his vehicle when he slipped on three wooden steps and came down on his back and elbows.

The Masters' biggest leaderboard logjam in 44 years could begin to get sorted out now that the four co-leaders have teed off.

Garcia was playing in the group right behind Hoffman, and surely Hoffman knew his lead was dwindling by the minute, at least until Garcia bogeyed the 10th hole.

"Because he had been taught to stand up", Player said.

"There's nothing that says I'm going to play bad or that I should play bad". I think that I'm working on trying to accept things which can happen here and can happen anywhere. He was in his rental home Wednesday when he went to move his vehicle in a downpour because his 2-year-old son was on his way back from day care. It was soon announced that it was a scoring error and Garcia had merely made bogey on the hole, leaving him at 2-under par for the tournament.

Rickie Fowler only wanted to make sure the wind didn't blow him away over two tough rounds at the Masters. Hoffman was simply happy to join them. 12 through 18 without a bogey in the first 36 holes. A ideal drive on the par-5 13th hole somehow became a bogey when he flubbed a chip and then unwisely used a driver from just off the green.

"I thought it was ideal", McIlroy said.

Charley Hoffman, whose electrifying round of 65 on Thursday had given him a four-stroke lead, shot 10 strokes worse in the second round, a 75 that still allowed him to share the lead with Garcia, Rickie Fowler and Thomas Pieters of Belgium.

Lee Westwood, who has the credentials as the best player to have never won a major, ran off five straight birdies late in the afternoon and salvaged a 70.

The group is two shots clear of the next four ties at 2-under, which includes three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, 1992 green jacket victor Fred Couples and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose. That group includes world No. 2 Rory McIlroy, who was only five shots behind despite not shooting under par either of the first two rounds.

And although McIlroy had to settle for a share of 12th after three birdies in his last six holes, the world number felt he remained firmly in contention for the victory he needs to complete the career grand slam. Last year's victor Danny Willett missed the cut at +7.

The Jordan Spieth meltdown.

And they still are competitive, even after one shot. There was a moment of silence, Payne honored Palmer with a speech and Palmer's green jacket was draped on the lawn chair Palmer had rested in a year ago.

That won't make it any less exhausting, not with 15 players separated by only five shots. But then the 37-year-old journeyman golfer had two birdies in his next three holes Friday to move to 4 under.

"I wouldn't want to miss this", Dalke said.