Friday, 12 April 2013
Tiger Woods  (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods (Getty Images)
Fred Couples claimed the Masters Tournament clubhouse lead as Tiger Woods roared into contention at Augusta National.

At five under Couples, who will defend his Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex title at Royal Birkdale in July,  led by one from another former Masters Champion, the 2009 champion Angel Cabrera storming home in 31 with five birdies in his last six holes.

Australian Marc Leishman was six under on the course with eight holes to play, and if he parred in would allow Chinese teenager Guan Tian-lang to make the cut under the ten shot rule.

Sergio Garcia shared the overnight lead on six under par after a flawless opening round, but was ten shots worse today as a swirling wind and brief spell of rain made life difficult for the early starters.

The 33 year old Spaniard found the water three times on the back nine as a 76 left him two under par, but Dustin Johnson's slump was even worse as he went from two shots clear of the field after 13 holes to four behind Couples.

Johnson was the first player to reach seven under par when he birdied the 13th, but bogeyed the next, hit his third into the water on the 15th to take a double-bogey seven, bogeyed the 17th and then fluffed a bunker shot on the last for another double bogey.

In total the American was six over par for his last five holes, a stretch 1992 Masters Champion Couples negotiated in one under to add a 71 to his opening 68.

Guan, at 14 the youngest player in Masters history, added a 75 to his opening 73 to finish four over par, but only after being handed a one shot penalty for slow play.

Woods was quietly going about the business of attempting to win a fifth Green Jacket and fourth tournament this year.

The World Number One opened with four straight pars before picking up shots at the fifth, seventh and eighth to move to five under, one behind Leishman who had six holes remaining.

Jim Furyk was five under with five to play after a birdie on the 13th, while England's Justin Rose was three under after a birdie on the same hole.

Rory McIlroy had an eagle on the eighth and birdie on the 18th in his round of 70 to lie two under, the same score as two-time winner Bernhard Langer after the 55 year old completed a second consecutive 71.

A bogey from Leishman on the 15th meant Woods now shared the lead on five under, while the poor scoring was letting plenty of other players remain in contention.

England's David Lynn, fourth overnight in his third ever Major, added a 73 to his opening 68 to lie three under alongside Jason Dufner (69) and Adam Scott (72), while Lee Westwood was two under with just the 18th to play.

Lynn, who had two bogeys and just one birdie on the 18th, said: "I was just grinding out the pars. I actually had quite a few chances on the back nine, so to finally finish with a birdie I hit a fantastic shot into the last to about six feet.

"As we can see by the numbers on the scoreboard, nobody is running away with it, so boring is good."

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