Brooks Koepka carded a bogey-free 67 to maneuver to 12 underneath and 4 away from newbie Sam Bennett; Rory McIlroy set to overlook the lower at Augusta Nationwide after irritating second spherical; watch The Masters all through the weekend reside on Sky Sports activities Golf
By Ali Stafford at Augusta Nationwide
Final Up to date: 07/04/23 8:14pm
Brooks Koepka despatched an ominous warning to the remainder of The Masters area by setting a commanding clubhouse goal throughout the second spherical at Augusta Nationwide.
Koepka adopted Sunday’s victory on the LIV Golf League occasion in Orlando by firing a seven-under 65 on the opening day, seeing him share the early lead alongside Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm, earlier than leaping to the highest of the leaderboard with one other spectacular show on Friday morning.
The four-time main champion produced a masterclass from tee to inexperienced on his strategy to a bogey-free 67, transferring him to 12 underneath, with solely a chilly putter stopping the American from constructing a record-breaking midway lead.
Koepka sits 4 photographs away from US Newbie champion Sam Bennett, who has posted back-to-back 68s, whereas Rory McIlroy’s newest bid for a profession Grand Slam seems set to finish in a second missed lower in three years following a disappointing five-over 77.
How Koepka raced forward at The Masters
Former world No 1 Koepka produced an outstanding up-and-down from a greenside bunker to birdie the par-five second and holed from 10 ft to save lots of par on the subsequent, then ended a run of pars by firing an excellent method to arrange a 15-foot eagle on the par-five eighth.
Koepka missed birdie probabilities from inside 10 ft on his subsequent two holes, however prolonged his result in 4 photographs when a brief pitch arrange a close-range birdie on the par-five thirteenth, with the American unable to benefit from one other alternative on the following gap.
A two-putt from 20 ft noticed Koepka birdie the par-five fifteenth, having been cleared of a potential rules violation on the same hole the day past, earlier than two-putt pars over the ultimate three holes accomplished a blemish-free spherical.
“I used to be actually stable,” Koepka stated. “Did not actually do an excessive amount of unsuitable. Possibly the velocity form of acquired me on just a few putts. Wasn’t hitting them exhausting sufficient there in direction of the tip, however hanging the ball rather well and leaving it in good spots. That is what you have to do, you have to make birdies on these par-fives, benefit from them.”
Who else impressed?
Bennett, 23, birdied his opening gap and cancelled out a bogey on the fourth by making successive positive factors from the seventh, with back-to-back birdies from the thirteenth on a blemish-free again 9 taking him to eight underneath.
In a single day co-leaders Rahm and Hovland are among the many afternoon starters seeking to chase down Koepka’s goal, with Collin Morikawa in a very good place on the midway stage after successive 69s.
Jason Day was initially Koepka’s closest challenger and was briefly inside three of the lead after following a chip-in birdie on the eleventh by holing from shut vary on the thirteenth, just for the Australian to double-bogey the fifteenth and bogey two of his final three holes to slide seven strokes behind.
Defending champion Scottie Scheffler slipped down the leaderboard with a three-over 75, whereas McIlroy – who might have leapfrogged him as world No 1 this week – solely registered two birdies and can miss the lower after carding seven bogeys in a second-round 77
Extra to comply with..
Watch The Masters all through the weekend reside on Sky Sports activities. Further feeds and protection will likely be obtainable from 3pm over the weekend through the purple button, with Sky Sports activities Golf displaying build-up content material and occasional reside updates from the course till full protection can start on Saturday from 8pm and Sunday from 7pm.