McIlroy looking to up his game for Masters weekend

Adam Scott

He has plenty of company.

The leaders had a two-shot lead over 37-year-old Masters rookie William McGirt (73), who missed the cut in three of his previous four majors.

Sergio Garcia, of Spain, hits a tee shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 7, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. No rain and little wind are forecast for the weekend.

Two days of survival gives way to a shootout among some of golf's biggest stars. "We're in a good spot", he said.

"That for me is already a win, and then, you know, if we can put the cherry on top, that would be even better".

Fowler began his move early by holing a bunker shot for an eagle on the second hole, and even a bogey from the water behind the green on the par-5 15th green didn't ruin his day. By then, he already was squarely back in the mix with a few good bounces and his frightening touch on the greens.

Fowler will be paired with 22-year-old Thomas Pieters, who shot a four-under 68 on Friday. On 13, I hit a lovely drive and a attractive second shot straight over the flag and I made six. Hoffman was simply happy to join them.

AUGUSTA, Georgia (AP) - Thomas Pieters has imagined himself sinking the winning putt at Augusta National countless times. Jordan Spieth, a favourite whenever he tees up here he is T2-1-T2 in his three starts at Augusta re-visited the ghosts of 2016.

This time, the Masters appears to be up for grabs.

This is Rose's fifth time holding the lead at Augusta after a round. Aaron went on to claim his only green jacket.

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The highest fist round lead is five by Craig Wood in 1941, and the only other four-shot lead was by Jack Burke Jr. "I have to continue to play good, aggressive golf, as I did (Saturday)". "I'm very pleased with the second round of this Masters, and we're in a position now where we can go out there and win this thing and certainly make a run".

SERGIO GARCIA: I'll say so. Both were wearing dark sweaters during the search, and the scorers were confused with who lost the ball. Garcia made a chip and a putt for a birdie.

Rory McIlroy has more work to do if he wants that green jacket to complete a career Grand Slam.

And he knows the score that everyone talks about - 70 majors as a pro without a victory, and enough close calls to make him wonder if he'll ever get it done.

The new leaders of the 2017 Masters are heavyweights.

The young American picked up another shot at the long eighth and a par at nine rounded off an outward 32 before another birdie at 13 lifted him to the top of the leaderboard. It will take a minor miracle to win this thing, and with his over-73 Saturday average at Augusta, I don't see it happening.

Fred Couples (70), a 57-year-old former Masters champion, 2013 U.S. Open victor Justin Rose (72), red-hot Spaniard Jon Rahm (70) and Ryan Moore (69) stood three shots off the pace.

Spieth's hopes of regaining the title he won in 2015 - and famously threw away 12 months ago - were severely hampered on Thursday when he made nine at the par-five 15th en route to a 75.

And right there with them was Mickelson, who can become the oldest Masters champion. Scoring should be much lower in sunny, pleasant conditions Saturday and Sunday, after only nine players posted under-par totals through two rounds.

"I just don't feel like there is any chance of me competing", Johnson said.