Augusta (United States) (AFP) – American Patrick Reed and Australian Marc Leishman both opened with three straight birdies on Friday and topped the leaderboard at 5-under par as Augusta National proved tough going in the second round of the Masters.
Reed’s opening trio of birdies — starting with a 26-foot putt at the first hole — actually moved him to 6-under, but he promptly gave a stroke back at the par-three fourth to stand tied with Leishman, who was 5-under through six holes.
A day after Jordan Spieth birdied five straight on the back nine to seize a two-stroke first-round lead, no one was mounting a charge.
Spieth dropped three shots in the first two holes and, after falling as low as 2-under, had pulled back to 4-under through 15 — one shot off the lead.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who could complete a career Grand Slam with a first Masters title, was 4-under with two to play.
Tiger Woods, whose 14 major titles include four Masters crowns, started the day seven off the pace on 1-over.
He opened with a bogey and dropped two more shots with a double bogey at the par-4 fifth.