AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jordan Spieth will go to the third round of the Masters with a five-stroke lead, matching the largest 36-hole advantage in tournament history.
Spieth set the record for lowest score midway through the tournament, a 14-under 130. The 21-year-old Texan will play in the last group Saturday with Charley Hoffman, who is at 135.
Some big names climbed up the leaderboard late in the second round Friday, including Dustin Johnson (who had three eagles) and Phil Mickelson. But they’ve got a lot of work to do.
Johnson is seven shots back at 137, joined by Justin Rose and Paul Casey. Mickelson played the back nine at 4 under for a 68, which gave him a glimmer of hope going to the weekend but still facing a daunting eight-stroke deficit.
History is working against everyone except Spieth. Herman Keiser in 1946, Jack Nicklaus in 1975 and Raymond Floyd in 1976 all had five-shot leads going to the weekend. All three went on to claim the green jacket.
At the moment, Spieth doesn’t have to worry about the world’s top-ranked player.
Rory McIlroy arrived at Augusta trying to complete a career Grand Slam, but it looked like he might miss the cut when he shot 40 on the front side Friday. He battled back after the turn, shooting a brilliant 31 for his second consecutive 71.
Still, McIlroy was 12 shots off the lead.
“I wish I didn’t need to play a back nine like that to get to 2 under for the tournament,” he said. “But I’m really proud of myself the way I fought back. To shoot 5 under on the back nine is a good effort. I need four more nines like that to have a chance.”
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