Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka seized a five-stroke lead in the second round of the 87th Masters
Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka seized a five-stroke lead in the second round of the 87th Masters AFP

Four-time major winner and LIV Golf rebel Brooks Koepka seized command of the Masters with a sizzling five-under par 67, grabbing a five-stroke lead early in Friday's second round at Augusta National.

Koepka torched the famed course's par-5 holes for an eagle and three birdies in a bogey-free round. His superb shotmaking followed an opening 65, his low Masters round, and left him on 12-under 132 for 36 holes.

Australia's Jason Day, the 2015 PGA Championship winner and a 2011 Masters runner-up, was on 7-under overall through 15 holes after a double bogey at the par-5 15th.

Day birdied the par-5 second and made another at the third after dropping his approach three feet from the hole. After going bogey-birdie to end his front nine, Day birdied 11 and 13 before his disaster at 15.

That dropped him back level for second place with Spain's Jon Rahm, the 2021 US Open champion, and Norway's Viktor Hovland, who both opened with 65s and had just started their second rounds.

"I'm feeling confident. Hopefully I can keep it going," Rahm said. "There's a long way to go."

Koepka made a birdie at the par-5 second to grab the solo lead, then curled in a tricky 10-foot par putt at the third after chipping his approach over the green.

The 32-year-old American, a 2019 Masters runner-up behind Tiger Woods, eagled the par-5 eighth after a brilliant approach shot to reach 10-under, becoming the fastest to that mark at a Masters since Jordan Spieth on his way to victory in 2015.

Koepka cleared Rae's Creek in two at the extended par-5 13th and notched another birdie, then added one more at the 15th.

After winning last week's LIV Golf event in Orlando, Koepka could produce the PGA Tour's nightmare scenario of a victory on one of golf's greatest stages by a player from the breakaway circuit.

Koepka is among 18 qualifiers from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League at Augusta National, where talk of the PGA-LIV split has been set aside by players so they can focus on winning the green jacket.

"I don't know if this is the place for healing those wounds," two-time Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal said.

The PGA Tour banned players who jumped to the upstart series for record $25 million purses and 54-hole events and a court fight is set for early 2024, but majors allow LIV golfers who qualify to compete.

"Once you make a decision like that, you have to take it with all the consequences," Spaniard Olazabal said.

"I don't think it would be fair for anybody that moved over there to have the right to play either on the PGA or DP World tour."

Koepka, the 2017 and 2018 US Open champion and 2018 and 2019 PGA Championship winner, was in the fifth group out Friday with cold, windy and rainy conditions expected by the afternoon and all of Saturday.

"It might end up turning into a marathon if we have pretty wet, kind of windy conditions on the weekend," Day said.

World number one and defending champion Scottie Scheffler was 2-over on the day and 2-under overall after 11 holes while US amateur Sam Bennett had three birdies and a bogey to stand fifth on 6-under through 11 holes.

Woods, a 15-time major winner and five-time Masters champion, had just started after struggling to a 74 on Thursday, right on the projected 2-over cutline.

At 47, Woods said he isn't sure how many more Masters he will play, still pained by severe leg injuries from a 2021 car crash.

Woods has missed the cut only once in 24 prior Masters starts, as an amateur in 1996, a year before his record-shattering first major triumph at Augusta.

World number two Rory McIlroy, who needs a Masters victory to complete a career Grand Slam, was 4-over overall through 10 holes.