American Bill Haas owns a one-stroke lead over defending Masters champ Adam Scott as the second round of the Augusta National tournament gets under way on Friday.
Six birdies helped Haas erase two bogeys on Thursday and Haas now sits at 4-under-par 68, with the Aussie Scott in a three-way tie with South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and 2012 Masters-winner Bubba Watson at 3-under-par 69.
Haas, 31, has never finished higher than 12 th place at any major, and last year at Augusta he tied for 20 th with a one-over 289. Familiarity with a course, especially Augusta, has long been a factor and Haas clearly learned his lessons, with one of his birdies coming on the par-5, 510-yard No. 13 hole.
A year ago Haas bogeyed No. 13 and the par-3, 155-yard No. 12, and his double bogeys in the third and fourth round on No. 4 all but wiped away any chance. Haas birdied No. 4 on Thursday.
Scott would be ahead by a stroke if not for his tee shot at the par-3 No. 12 coming up short of the green, and taking an unkind bounce on the rough into the adjacent pond. He would double-bogey the hole but get one stroke back with his birdie on No. 14.
Watson played an error and risk-free first round, shooting three birdies and making par on the rest of the course.
Rory McIlroy sits at 1-under 71 after three bogeys counteracted his four birdies in the first round. However McIlroy appears to have tamed his troubles with the par-4s that ruined his first two rounds a year ago. In 2013 McIlroy’s six bogeys essentially kept him out of contention heading into the weekend.
Oosthuizen already began his second round early in the morning, and he’s stalking the course with American Matt Kuchar and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee.
Haas tees off with Spain’s Miguel Jimenez and Italian Matteo Manassero, both at one-under, beginning at 1:15 p.m. EST. Three groups later Scott starts his second round with Jason Dufner, and Matthew Fitzpatrick at 1:48 p.m. EST.
McIlroy is part of the last group of the day, teeing-off with Americans Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth at 1:59 p.m. EST.
According to Bodog, the odds haven’t really changed with Scott and McIlroy still favored at 10/1, though Phil Mickelson is still at 12/1 despite shooting four-over par. Haas is an 80/1 shot to win it all.
Tee-Times: A full list of tee-times and pairings can be found here.
TV Channel: ESPN will air the second round on Friday, and CBS the last two rounds this weekend.
Time: TV coverage of the second and third round begins at 3 p.m. EST. The final round will be broadcast beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 13.
Leaderboard: Once the tournament is in full swing, keep up with all the action by viewing the real-time leaderboard here.