2021 Masters leaderboard breakdown: Crowded group including Spieth, Thomas, Finau chasing Rose

2021 Masters leaderboard breakdown: Crowded group including Spieth, Thomas, Finau chasing Rose

Justin Rose remains the leader at the 2021 Masters, but his incredible first round lead has evaporated after he posted an even-par 72 while 17 players shot 69 or better on Friday at Augusta National. Rose maintains his lead at 7 under as we turn our attention to the weekend, but 11 players are within three strokes of the lead.

Among those are the pair of Brian Harman and Will Zalatoris, who just one stroke back at 6 under, while Jordan Spieth and Marc Leishman are lurking and well within striking distance at 5 under. Throw in the likes of Justin Thomas, Tony Finau and Hideki Matusyama at 4 under, and it’s clear that Rose’s hold on this championship has totally changed from where we stood at the end of 18 holes. 

While the scoring conditions were far more favorable for most of the field with nearly half of it shooting under par on Friday after only 12 golfers accomplished finished in red numbers on Thursday, Augusta National still got in its punches against some of the world’s best. Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy were among the superstars that failed to cash in on better scoring conditions and missed the cut for the weekend, while Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson tumbled on the leaderboard after shooting under par on Thursday and over par on Friday. 

With nearly a dozen golfers well within striking distance of the lead, things are setting up for a true moving day atmosphere on Saturday at Augusta National. Let’s see how the top of the leaderboard breaks down after 36 holes. 

1. Justin Rose (-7): The real win for Rose is how he turned around what could have been a total collapse of a Friday. Rose had four bogeys on the first seven holes, missing fairways and generally looking pretty shaky in most aspects of his game. But he got some confidence with key par putts around the turn and finished strong with birdies on No. 13, No. 14 and No. 16. Even par was always going to be a good enough score to stay in the hunt to win after his healthy lead on Thursday, so he should be able to shake off the slow start and return to the course with a fresh outlook on Saturday afternoon. 

T2. Will Zalatoris (-6): The Masters rookie has continued to show out among a world class field, topping Thursday’s 70 with a 4-under 68 on Friday. While the first round was a scoring bonanza with an eagle, three birdies and three bogeys, Friday afternoon was mostly steady until Zalatoris went on a heater and played the final eight holes at 5 under. Even more impressive was turning in a 68 with no birdies on any of the four par 5s. 

T2. Brian Harman (-6): Poised for one of his best Masters finishes here in his third-ever appearance, Harman has been steady with a pair of 69s to ride up the leaderboard and snag a late afternoon tee time on Saturday. The key for Harman has been the final six holes, where he’s got six birdies and no bogeys through two rounds of action including birdies on No. 18 both Thursday and Friday. 

T4. Marc Leishman (-5): As one of the first players on the course, Leishman’s performance was the early sign that there were low scores out there on Friday. He did cool off after a birdie-birdie-birdie start to the round, but he limited mistakes and then, just as he has did all week in November 2020, took advantage of the par-5 scoring opportunities on the second nine. 

T4. Jordan Spieth (-5): The longer Spieth remains in striking distance, the easier it is to imagine how 2021 ends up as his return to Butler Cabin. Spieth hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation, and went 3 for 4 on sand saves when he ended up in the bunker. Whether it’s saving par from the green-side bunker with a perfectly executed wedge shot or rolling in birdies on the second nine, Spieth made Friday’s 68 look like just another piece of the game plan to win this thing on Sunday. 

T6. Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Si Woo Kim, Bernd Wiesberger, Hideki Matsuyama and Cameron Champ (-4): J.T. on a heater remains one of the most exciting things in golf today, and we got to witness that as he tore through Amen Corner going birdie-birdie-birdie on No. 10, No. 11 and No. 12. Si Woo was one of the day’s biggest stories after breaking his putter in frustration and proceeding to use his 3-wood on the greens to two-putt par the final four holes of his round, while Wiesberger had the low round of the day along with Finau, who has us wondering whether this is his time to break through as a major champion. 

12. Xander Schauffele (-3): Friday seemed like more of a slog than it looks on the scorecard for Schauffele, who had to grind a bit on the way to his 69 after shooting even par on Thursday. Seemingly a top 10 machine at major championships, he’s good for about three or four birdies and as many three or four bogeys per round. If he limits the mistakes, he can jump up into the mix as well. 

Watch the 2021 Masters streaming all weekend with Masters Live as we follow the best golfers in the world throughout Augusta National with Featured Groups, check in at the famed Amen Corner and see leaders round the turn on holes 15 & 16. Watch live free on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App. Also available on Paramount+.

CBS Sports updated this story all day Friday with scores, analysis and highlights from the Masters. Check out a more detailed leaderboard at the top of this story and our complete viewer’s guide for the weekend.


Source link

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: