AUGUSTA, Ga. — Rains arrived Friday morning at Augusta National Golf Club, intermittent downpours that weren’t enough to stop play — but certainly affected it — as the second round of the Masters got under way.
First-round co-leader Sergio Garcia, whose ambivalence about this revered course is well-documented, bogeyed both the third and fourth holes to fall from the top of the leader board. He didn’t make a birdie on the front side and made the turn 2 over par for the day, 4 under for the tournament.
The man with whom Garcia shared the lead overnight, Australian Marc Leishman, was scheduled to tee off at 12:35 p.m.
With Tiger Woods, who shot an opening-round 70, in the penultimate group of the day at 1:41 p.m., there was little movement forward through the morning wave of players. American Matt Kuchar, who opened with a 68, made an early birdie at the second to get to 5-under. He quickly gave it back with a bogey at the fourth. Dustin Johnson, who shot 67 Friday, was 4 under through 8.
After a Thursday in which 45 players in the 93-man field shot par or better, scores seemed to move higher.
The steadiest, sustained play early on came from South Africa’s Trevor Immelman. The 2008 Masters champ birdied both of the par 5s on the front side and made the turn in even-par 36, keeping him at 4 under for the tournament. But Immelman found trouble as he entered Amen Corner, taking a double bogey at the long par-4 11th to slip back to 2 under.
Fred Couples, the 53-year-old with a chronically bad back who has posted top-15 finishes in each of the past three Masters, took a double bogey at No. 7 to fall back to 2 under for the tournament, 2 over for the day.
Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old from China who is the youngest player in Masters history, followed his impressive opening-round 73 with two bogeys and no birdies on the front side Friday. He made the turn at 3 over for the tournament.
Rory McIlroy, the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland who has already won two majors, opened his found with two bogeys in his first three holes to fall to 2 over for the tournament, leaving his weekend in question. The cut will be the top 50 players and ties, as well as anyone within 10 shots of the lead.
Several players, Woods and Phil Mickelson foremost among them, complained after Thursday’s rounds that Augusta’s greens, usually so slick, were unusually slow. Though the rain only served to soften them up and slow them further, the forecast for the rest of the day called for decreasing cloudiness. The sun could help speed up the greens for the afternoon wave of players.
ESPN’s coverage begins at 3 p.m., in time to carry most of Woods’s round. Among others with afternoon tee times: Leishman, Rickie Fowler (opened with 68, tees off at 1:52 p.m.), Zach Johnson (69, 12:57 p.m.), Jim Furyk (69, 12:13 p.m.), Lee Westwood (70, 12:13 p.m.), Jason Day (70, 1:52 p.m.) and defending champ Bubba Watson (75, 1:30 p.m.).