Spieth And Els Among Early Starters

10 April 2015 02:36

Conditions were again perfect for the early starters in the second round of the 79th Masters, but recent history suggested the odds were against those not already high on the leaderboard.

The last nine winners of the year's first major championship had been inside the top 10 after the first round, which was good news for the likes of four-time major winner Ernie Els and 2013 US Open champion Justin Rose in joint second.

But it was bad news for the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson, with Woods tied for 41st after an opening 73 and McIlroy and defending champion Watson joint 18th on one under.

Jordan Spieth held a three-shot lead after a stunning 64 on Thursday, but it was not all good news for last year's runner-up, who has finished first, second and second in his last three tournaments.

The last player to hold the outright lead after the first round and go on to win was Ben Crenshaw in 1984, although Trevor Immelman was joint leader on his way to the green jacket in 2008.

Els and Spieth were among the early starters on Friday, with McIlroy having to wait until the penultimate starting time of 1:48pm to resume his bid to complete the career grand slam.

The top 50 players and ties will make the halfway cut, along with any player within 10 shots of the lead.

Source: PA-WIRE