TEN NOTES TO KNOW: 2ND ROUND OF THE 2019 MASTERS TOURNAMENT
1. Five players are tied for the lead through 36 holes at The Masters, most at the halfway point in Tournament history. An incredible 22 players enter the third round at or within four strokes of the lead – second most in Masters history. Only the wild 2012 Masters had more (23).
2. Francesco Molinari is just the third reigning Open champion to lead or co-lead the Masters through 36 holes. Molinari joins legends Seve Ballesteros (1980) and Arnold Palmer (1962) to do it – both of those men went on to win the Green Jacket that week. Molinari is trying to become just the fifth reigning Open champion overall to win the Masters, joining Seve, Arnold, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods.
3. Brooks Koepka shot 71 to grab a share of the 36-hole lead at Augusta National. Over the last ten major championships contested, Koepka is a combined 50 shots under par – 17 better than any other player in that span. Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth are both 33-under during that stretch.
4. History says that it will be difficult for a player too far back in the pack to make a charge to victory. 90 percent of Masters winners all-time were in the top-10 after 36 holes – and even more staggering, 82 percent of them were in the top-five after 36 holes. Four of the last five winners held the 36-hole lead or co-lead.
5. Tiger Woods sits one shot off the lead after the second round. This is the 34th time in Woods’ legendary career that he has been inside the top-ten after 36 holes of a major. From 1997 through 2008, Tiger won 14 times in 26 of those opportunities, but since 2009, he is 0-for-7.
6. Tiger had a birdie look at 18 to join the fray at seven-under but missed. The only time Tiger has ever led or co-led The Masters after 36 holes was his breakthrough ‘win for the ages’ in 1997.
7. The five co-leaders have each won major championships previously, combining for seven total wins. That is still half as many as Woods, with 14. Three of the five have spent time as world number one – combining for 71 weeks on top. That trails Woods by 612 weeks – or roughly twelve years.
8. Dustin Johnson is also just one shot behind the leaders. Dustin was a combined 12-over-par in his first 18 career rounds at Augusta National, but has completely turned it around. In 14 rounds since 2014, DJ has shot in the 60s five times, and is a combined 23-under-par. Johnson is second in the field this week in strokes gained putting.
9. Justin Rose missed the cut, becoming just the second sitting world number one to miss the cut at The Masters in the last twenty years. Martin Kaymer, in 2011, is the other in that span. Before Martin, it was Greg Norman back in 1997.
10. Justin Harding begins the third round just one shot off the lead. Exactly one year ago on Saturday, Harding missed the cut at the Zanaco Masters, a tournament in Zambia. He was ranked 413th in the world then.