Jordan Spieth is looking good for a green jacket after producing the lowest 36-hole score in relation to par in major championship history, tying the all-time major championship 36-hole scoring record and adding the lowest halfway mark in Masters’ history.
The 21-year-old American continued to provide a golfing masterclass in the second round at Augusta National on Friday, backing up his opening-round eight-under 64 with a bogey-free 66, leaving him at 14-under 130.
It was good enough for a five-shot lead over American Charley Hoffman (68) who sits second alone at nine-under 135 while Dustin Johnson (67) and Englishmen Justin Rose (70) and Paul Casey (68) sit tied third at seven under.
No player in major championship history has been 14 under or better at the halfway stage of play and the 130 ties the low score in major history.
Spieth notched birdies on the second, fifth, eighth, 10th, 13th and 15th holes and had a six-foot look on the 18th that, had it gone in, would have given him the major championship records all on his own.
It is still the first time a player has posted 130 at Augusta National through the opening two rounds, beating Raymond Floyd’s 131 from 1976.
“It’s cool. Any time you can set a record here is pretty awesome. I’m very excited about today and the way I struck the ball,” Spieth said.
“I feel comfortable this week. I haven’t really felt very nervous. I’ve felt in a good place.
“I’ve just got to keep my head down and find greens in regulation so that I can continue to have looks.”
While Spieth continued to surge on Friday, Australian Jason Day put his charge in reverse and will now need something extra special if he is to get anywhere near the coveted green jacket.
Day, who started the day just three off the pace, dropped a distant 11 shots back thanks to a two-over-par 74, leaving him three under and tied 12th.
The threat of a slow play penalty and some swing commitment issues had the Queenslander struggling.
Adam Scott, who at least got going in the right direction with a 69, joined him at three under.
“There was lots of good stuff out there and my game felt free today which I liked,” said 2013 champion Scott.
“I just need to get something happening and if I can put in a good round tomorrow and the leaders struggle like they can on the weekend here then I’m hopeful I can maybe get within six (heading to Sunday).”
Tiger Woods (69) quietened some doubters to be two under overall but the 14-time major winner will need something out of the prime of his career to be a factor on the weekend.
He was joined at two under by world No.1 Rory McIlroy (71) who turned around a front nine 40 with a 31 on the back.
Geoff Ogilvy (70) made the cut in his first Masters for three years at even par and John Senden (74) is also into the weekend at one over.
Amateur Antonio Murdaca produced a very respectable 73 Friday but missed the cut at seven-over.