Bloom still on Rose

Masters first-timer Zalatoris one back, 10 players within 3 shots

The Masters 2021 R2
April 08-11
Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia
Round 1, Round 3, Round 4

The Masters 2021 R2 - Bloom still on Rose
David J. Phillip/AP)

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

The Masters 2021 R2

Golf rounds are rarely uneventful. In major championship play the tension meter can ratchet up faster than a rocket fired by NASA. Being able to maintain composure when circumstances are on the verge of spiraling out of control is a skillset only the most experienced of players can muster.


The Masters 2021 R2

First round leader Justin Rose commanded a four-shot lead heading into Friday’s second round and his struggles started at the 1st hole with an opening bogey. A birdie at the 2nd seemed to have righted the ship but before the outward nine had concluded Rose added three additional bogeys and what once was a commanding lead had vanished faster than a New York minute.

Complicating matters was the reality Rose was facing. The two toughest holes at Augusta National — long demanding par-4s at the 10th and 11th holes –awaited. Inexperienced players, given the situation, might have erred with impulsive decisions — opting for a too conservative or too aggressive style of play.


The Masters 2021 R2

The 40-year-old Englishman has faced numerous ticklish predicaments over his tenure as a highly ranked world golfer and should he win his first green jacket he may well look back at how he handled the inward half of Friday’s second round as a key element in winning his second major championship. 

In the terminology of golf, the two-word phrase “leaking oil” was most apt with Rose. He adroitly stopped the agonizing drip-by-drip meltdown as only a top tier professional can. 


The Masters 2021 R2

Justin scored three birdies on the back nine in concert with six pars. What seemed like a probable 75 or higher score — resulted in an even-par round of 72 and a 137-total good for a one-shot lead over two players from the USA — Brian Harman and first-time Masters participant Will Zalatoris.

Rose was ever forthright on the situation encountered. “I think it was just a classic day at Augusta National when you’re just slightly off. You can be a foot or two out on certain occasions, and you end up struggling.”


The Masters 2021 R2

No fewer than ten players are within three shots of the lead and that list includes past major championships winners Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Spieth is looking for back-to-back victories after capturing the Valero Texas Open last week. Securing a second green jacket would finally put into his rear view mirror the final round debacle Spieth endured at the 2016 Masters when he self-imploded on the back nine. For Thomas, a win at Augusta would mean his second major championship and provide the perfect bookend since winning The Players Championship several weeks ago.

Harman continued his fine play with a second consecutive round of 69. The 34-year-old Georgia native is seeking to become the 3rd left-handed golfer to win the Masters following in the footsteps of Mike Weir and Phil Mickelson.


The Masters 2021 R2

Zalatoris is seeking to emulate what Fuzzy Zoeller accomplished 42 years ago — winning the green jacket on his first visit to Augusta National. The 24-year-old started the year ranked 58th in the world and has now moved up to the 46th position. At Wake Forest Zalatoris was a psychology major and he stated a post round mental toughness to engage the battle for the final 36-holes starting this weekend. 

“There’s no reason to feel intimidated.”


The Masters 2021 R2

The mixture of Rose and Zalatoris in the final pairing Saturday provides a fascinating intersection. A long-time veteran player seeking to add a final exclamation mark to his sterling career after near misses at Augusta and elsewhere. Counter-balanced with a Masters rookie who seems poised for what lies ahead. One can only wonder if Zalatoris fully comprehends the gauntlet he is about to enter.

The 3rd round at the Masters has always been referred to as “moving day” and with a mounting herd of key players hovering so near to the top of the leaderboard one can fully expect plenty of fireworks are coming.


Masters Notes


  • The cut-line came at 145 — three-over-par. That figure was two shots higher than the 2020 total when the championship was played in November.


  • Defending champion and world number-one-ranked player Dustin Johnson missed the cut and becomes the 11th player in Masters history to have the weekend off. The last time Johnson missed a cut in a major event was the 2018 Open Championship. Dustin’s play was clearly off form and his woes were a mixture of poor driving and consistent putting when needed. Johnson has one more additional duty to perform this week — slipping on the green jacket Sunday for the next Masters champion. Being a valet for someone else was not a role Dustin was looking to serve when arriving at Augusta this week.


The Masters 2021 R2

  • Joining Johnson on the sidelines are four-time major winners Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy respectively. This is the first time Brooks will miss the weekend in his 6th Masters appearance. Koepka’s issue was dealing with a rehabbed right knee that went through surgery just a few weeks back. After finishing his round Koepka was uncertain when his next tournament appearance may happen and indicated he might just hold off playing again till the May PGA Championship at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, SC.


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  • For McIlroy, the Masters meltdown only adds to his inability to snap a major-less streak stretching back to the PGA Championship in 2014 and ends a 10-year-streak of playing on the weekend. Rory’s story this time was dealing with various recent swing changes that have now infected his overall play. A Masters win would complete a career Grand Slam — only five players in golf’s history have done so. However, the broader issue for the Ulsterman has become more than just a question of his swing but a burgeoning mental handicap when coming to Augusta.


  • The dry weather pattern is forecasted to remain in place through the early afternoon period for Saturday’s 3rd round. Late day thunderstorms may impact play and could play a key role in adding moisture to the firm and fast playing conditions. Sunday’s final round forecast calls for sunny conditions with highs in the 80s.


  • Tommy Fleetwood’s hole-in-one at the par-3 16th during the second round marked the 23rd time the hole has been aced in competition. For the Englishman the ace certainly helped as he stands at even par for two rounds and remains in contention.


The Masters 2021 R2

  • During the 2nd round the par-4 5th played as the hardest hole with a stroke average of 4.45. There was a two-way tie for the 2nd most challenging hole with the par-3 6th and par-4 11th. Cumulatively for the championship — three of the first five holes — the 1st (4th), 4th (3rd) and 5th (1st) have been the most demanding. The par-4 11th holds down the 2nd toughest slot. In terms of birdie difficulty — the 5th is miserly — yielding just 5 for the event. Whoever can handle the opening salvo of holes will clearly set themselves up for the remainder of the course.


  • Stroke average for the 2nd round was far better than the opening round with a 72.25 average. The first round was over two shots higher. Cumulatively, the stroke average through two rounds is 73.37.


  • Three amateurs started in the field and none made the 36-hole cut. Charle Osborne, the 2020 U.S. Amateur runner-up, was the best of the bunch at a two-day total of 152.

The Masters 2021 R2

Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
Total
1
Justin Rose
-7
65
72
137
T2
Brian Harman
-6
69
69
138
T2
Will Zalatoris
-6
70
68
138
T4
Marc Leishman
-5
72
67
139
T4
Jordan Spieth
-5
71
68
139
T6
Cameron Champ
-4
72
68
140
T6
Tony Finau
-4
74
66
140
T6
Si Woo Kim
-4
71
69
140
T6
Hideki Matsuyama
-4
69
71
140
T6
Justin Thomas
-4
73
67
140
T6
Bernd Wiesberger
-4
74
66
140
12
Xander Schauffele
-3
72
69
141
T13
Corey Conners
-2
73
69
142
T13
Collin Morikawa
-2
73
69
142
T13
Ryan Palmer
-2
74
68
142
T13
Cameron Smith
-2
74
68
142
T17
Stewart Cink
-1
74
69
143
T17
Bryson DeChambeau
-1
76
67
143
T17
Viktor Hovland
-1
73
70
143
T17
Matt Jones
-1
74
69
143
T21
Abraham Ancer
E
75
69
144
T21
Matt Fitzpatrick
E
74
70
144
T21
Tommy Fleetwood
E
74
70
144
T21
Mackenzie Hughes
E
72
72
144
T21
Shane Lowry
E
71
73
144
T21
Robert MacIntyre
E
74
70
144
T21
Jon Rahm
E
72
72
144
T21
Henrik Stenson
E
73
71
144
T21
Michael Thompson
E
72
72
144
T21
Brendon Todd
E
73
71
144
T21
Bubba Watson
E
74
70
144
T32
Harris English
1
74
71
145
T32
Tyrrell Hatton
1
71
74
145
T32
Martin Laird
1
74
71
145
T32
Kevin Na
1
75
70
145
T32
Patrick Reed
1
70
75
145
T32
Scottie Scheffler
1
73
72
145
T32
Charl Schwartzel
1
74
71
145
T32
Gary Woodland
1
73
72
145
T40
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
2
70
76
146
T40
Jim Herman
2
76
70
146
T40
Joaquin Niemann
2
75
71
146
T40
José María Olazábal
2
75
71
146
T40
Louis Oosthuizen
2
76
70
146
T40
Webb Simpson
2
70
76
146
T40
Matt Wallace
2
74
72
146
T47
Paul Casey
3
73
74
147
T47
Billy Horschel
3
76
71
147
T47
Jason Kokrak
3
71
76
147
T47
Phil Mickelson
3
75
72
147
T47
Francesco Molinari
3
74
73
147
T47
Sebastián Muñoz
3
74
73
147
T47
Ian Poulter
3
74
73
147
T47
Adam Scott
3
74
73
147
CUT
Daniel Berger
4
75
75
CUT
Sergio Garcia
4
76
76
CUT
Max Homa
4
74
74
CUT
Matt Kuchar
4
78
78
CUT
Jimmy Walker
4
75
75
CUT
Lanto Griffin
5
76
76
CUT
Dustin Johnson
5
74
74
CUT
Kevin Kisner
5
72
72
CUT
Brooks Koepka
5
74
74
CUT
Mike Weir
5
78
78
CUT
Lee Westwood
5
78
78
CUT
Danny Willett
5
76
76
CUT
Dylan Frittelli
6
76
76
CUT
Rory McIlroy
6
76
76
CUT
Cheng Tsung Pan
6
79
79
CUT
Robert Streb
6
75
75
CUT
Zach Johnson
7
77
77
CUT
Bernhard Langer
7
74
74
CUT
Victor Perez
7
78
78
CUT
Patrick Cantlay
8
79
79
CUT
Brian Gay
8
78
78
CUT
Charles Osborne (a)
8
76
76
CUT
Jason Day
9
77
77
CUT
Carlos Ortiz
9
82
82
CUT
Ian Woosnam
9
76
76
CUT
Joe Long (a)
10
82
82
CUT
Sandy Lyle
12
81
81
CUT
Hudson Swafford
12
73
73
CUT
Fred Couples
13
79
79
CUT
Sungjae Im
13
77
77
CUT
Vijay Singh
15
79
79
CUT
Tyler Strafaci (a)
17
80
80
CUT
Larry Mize
19
84
84
DQ
Matthew Wolff
E
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