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Masters 36-hole report: Biggest surprises through 2 rounds


Some of the windiest conditions in recent memory at Augusta National led to a volatile day of action to complete the second round at the Masters.

Scottie Scheffler sitting as one of the co-leaders is certainly no shock given how brilliant the World No. 1 has played this season, but there are a number of surprises through the opening two days of the first major on the calendar.

From Tiger Woods breaking another Masters record to Rory McIlroy's rough day, here are five surprises from the action thus far at Augusta.

Tiger inside top 25 despite marathon Friday

The weather delay on Thursday wasn't kind to any players who couldn't finish their opening rounds due to darkness. It's particularly cruel on a 48-year-old with a fused back, fused ankle, and countless other surgeries holding his body together like duct tape. Despite being faced with the daunting task of playing 23 holes in extremely difficult conditions, Woods battled through to post 1-over for the tournament and comfortably made the cut for a record 24th straight time.

He doesn't move like he once did - and he certainly doesn't have all the shots he once had - but the fighting spirit from the 15-time major champion was still on full display throughout the day. Woods entered having only played 24 total holes of golf this season but managed to navigate 23 on Friday to sit within shouting distance of the leaders heading into the weekend.

Bryson, Max showing out

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Bryson DeChambeau came to Augusta this year without a top-20 finish in seven starts at the Masters and two straight missed cuts. Max Homa entered the week with zero top-40 showings in the event and only one top-10 finish in his entire major championship career. Naturally, those two are tied for the lead at 6-under through 36 holes of action.

DeChambeau fired a sizzling 7-under 65 to snag the first-round lead and followed that up with a solid 1-over 73 in very difficult conditions on Friday. The LIV Golf star has certainly approached Augusta differently this year, pounding his driver when the chance affords but dialing back on numerous occasions. The results have the 30-year-old in great shape to make a run at his second career major win.

Homa played 23 holes on Friday due to the weather delay from Round 1 and went 3-under during that stretch to post 6-under for the week. Homa's iron game is particularly sharp this week, with the World No. 11 hitting 83% of his greens in Round 2.

Scandinavian rookies shine

The Masters is the hardest major for first-timers to figure out - with the subtleties of Augusta National taking years to understand. Apparently, that doesn't apply to young golfers from Scandinavia, as both Nicolai Hojgaard and Ludvig Aberg are making serious noise in their first starts at the Masters.

The Ryder Cup teammates showed they could handle the big stage last year in Italy, but the loneliness of major championship golf is a different beast entirely. That didn't phase Hojgaard in the opening round, as the 23-year-old Dane fired a 5-under 67. He followed that up with a 73 in significant winds to sit just two back of the lead heading into the weekend.

Aberg isn't just playing in his first Masters; the 24-year-old is making his debut in any major championship. It's been a meteoric rise from Texas Tech senior at this time last year to World No. 9, but the Swede showed he's world-class with a brilliant round in the wind on Friday. Aberg was the only man in the field to break 70 in Round 2, scattering six birdies over 18 holes to offset three bogeys.

No birdies for Rory

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McIlroy's 10th attempt to complete the career Grand Slam again looks doomed as the four-time major winner struggled to a 5-over 77 in Round 2. That leaves him a full 10 shots back of the leaders heading into the weekend. McIlroy struggling at Augusta isn't a huge surprise - he has just one score under 70 in the last 10 rounds at the Masters - but the manner in which he did so on Friday was shocking. The 34-year-old is one of the most explosive players in the world but failed to make a birdie at Augusta for the first time since 2016.

Old guys come to play

While names like Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Viktor Hovland, and Justin Thomas won't play the weekend, two of the three oldest players in the Masters field made the cut this time around. Vijay Singh (61 years old) and Jose Maria Olazabal (58 years old) both fired sparkling rounds of 73 in the trying conditions Friday to ensure they would get four rounds of action at this year's event. Olazabal made the 6-over cut on the number, but Singh sits at 4-over - ahead of defending champ Jon Rahm and alongside World No. 2 McIlroy.

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