/ Golf

As It Happened: The Masters Day Two

Updated: Wednesday, 13 Apr 2011 11:58

The Masters - Rory McIlroy's name is placed on a placard at the course YE Yang - the South Korean is among the players fighting for the lead Ian Poulter - the Englishman plays from a bunker during his first round
The Masters - Rory McIlroy's name is placed on a placard at the course YE Yang - the South Korean is among the players fighting for the lead Ian Poulter - the Englishman plays from a bunker during his first round

Rory McIlroy continues to lead at Augusta National: can anyone catch the 21-year-old from Holywood? Follow our live tracker.

E-mail: sportonline@rte.ie

Click here for the latest leaderboard (external site).

By Tadhg Peavoy

0022 That's day two done folks. Thanks for joining us. Plenty more to come. See y'after.

0012 The leaderboard as it stands at the end of day two:

McIlroy -10
Day -8
KJ Choi -7
Woods -7
G Ogilvy -6
A Quiros -6
_____________
Mickelson -2
McDowell +3
Harrington +5

0010 Rory McIlroy has hit 65, 69. Day has carded 72, 64, KJ Choi has marked 67, 70.

0008 Henrik Stenson ends the day as the lanterne rouge with a 13 over par after carding a 74 to add to his first round 83.

0006 So Tiger ends on seven under par with a 66, which leaves him right in the mix.

2349 Woods (-7) has just played a massive lay-up shot onto the 18th to set him for birdie on the last. A superb, straight line putt from two yards goes straight in the hole to leave him seven under par overall.

Allenby (+2) also putts for birdie on the last, not a chance mate, it it way off line from 15 feet. Allenby ends the day with a bogey to end on +2.

McDowell's weekend ends early as he cards a +3 overall.

2347 Woods (-6) drives the 17th and plays it just off the fairway, but not into the trees.

2345 Getting towards closing time folks, get those last drinks in. I can officially tell you I am the only person still in the RTE Sport office; the glamour of being a sport journalist!

2343 Woods (-6) takes his third at the 16th, a classy chip onto the green, but it aint good enough to make the hole. It's only two yards away though. He really is looking great today. Playing with confidence and in a relaxed manner.

2342 Francesco Molinari (+2) finishes two over, one over the projected cut.

2341 Garcia (-4) plays a nine iron on the 16th, it makes the green, but leaves him with a 12-yard putt.

2340 Woods (-5) plays his second on the 16th - it's too long and soars over the green, but not by much.

2339 Jason Day: 'I think I played lovely, I gave myself a lot more opportunities. This is Rory's [McIlroy] third time around Augusta and he knows where to go. As long as you stick to your plan, you can look forward to a good weekend.'

2337 Woods (-5) goes hard down the fairway on the 16th. It drifts a little to the left and off the fairway.

2336 Garcia (-4) goes for eagle three on 15, it's from 20 yards and is quite simply miles off.

2333 Rory McIlroy: 'It was good. It was another solid day...I felt as if I got a few opportunities on the back nine which I didn't take advantage of. I'm thinking well out there, which is important because you really have to think about where you are going to finish out here.'

2332 Westwood (-5) just misses a birdie effort chipped in from the bunker near the 18th flag. He settles for a par and ends the day on five under par.

2331 Allenby (+1) knocks in for par again.

2329 Woods (-5) goes for birdie on 15 from five yards to the flag. He gets it.

2328 McDowell (+2) hits it well with serious pace, but the pace and line are both wrong. He will claim a par.

2325 McDowell (+2) has an uphill effort from 42 feet to make the birdie on the 16th.

2323 McDowell (+2) uses a 9 iron off the tee on 16. Smashing shot onto the green. It lands two yards from the hole then rolls down the green to the far side.

2321 Harrington (+5) finishes off with an ugly double bogey. It's slán to Paddy for the weekend. Go off and see a physio you mad yolk! Surely he shouldn't be playing with an injured neck?

2320 Allenby (+1) birdies the 15th to go level with the projected cut.

2319 McDowell (+2) for birdie from two yards. The ball is just to the left of the hole, and it looks good until the pace drops off at the end and the ball lips out as a result. Shame - par for McDowell on the 15th.

2318 Westwood (-5) pars the 17th.

2317 Woods (-6) goes from 12 yards downhill and gets the line spot on, but the pace is undercooked. He taps in for birdie though. That is the 15th hole.

2315 McDowell (+2) goes for eagle from 15 yards on the 15th and the far side of the green. The line is all wrong - nowhere close.

2314 Garcia (-4) makes a classy birdie on the 14th from eight yards with a curling right to left effort.

2311 Woods (-5) makes his way to the 15th, strolling along in no hurry.

2310 Harrington lies +3 on the 17th, it looks all over for Paddy. Remember he failed to make the cut here last year as well.

2307 McDowell (+2) on the 15th smacks his second shot at the green, it just makes it over the water hazard and onto the green. G-Mac could make the cut yet.

2306 Garcia (-3) is on the 14th at this stage. He plays a nice approach to the green.

2303 Woods (-5) smashes off the tee at the 15th and makes the fairway. He's getting better and better out there.

2302 Woods (-5) does birdie the 14th though from two yards. He is smiling and looks very content with his short game, getting birdies with ease.

2259 So it is Westwood and Tiger who are the main men on the charge here. Westwood (-5) goes to within inches of the birdie on the 16th. The line is spot on, but it curls away at the end.

2255 Sorry, got cut off there! Garcia misses that eagle!

2252 Garcia (-2) goes for eagle on the 15th.

2250 Westood (-5) tees off the 16th with a superb shot to the green.

2249 McIlroy hit a second round 69, that's -3 for the day. Ten under overall. Day is on his heels.

2248 McDowell (+2) gets an eagle on the 13th to bring him back towards the cut, which is all but confirmed at +1.

Westwood (-5) gets an eagle at 15 to go to five under.

2247 That is a second round 64 for Day to add to his first round 72.

2246 Day (-8) has an easy birdie putt to go to eight under and outright second.

2245 Woods (-4) birdies another as his roll continues, while McIlroy (-10) settle for the par.

2242 Fowler taps in for par and finishes -5 overall.

McIlroy (-10) lines up the putt with an eagle-eye. He has missed five puttable birdies today - at least. This one is another close call, it is in the hole, but lips out! So, so close. He will put for par.

2141 Fowler (-5) puts his second on to the green as well, but it's a good six yards from the flag.

2240 McIlroy (-10) makes a magnificent recovery with a classy chip from the bunker to the green.

Day (-7) does even better as he chips to within a yard of the hole.

2239 Laird (-1) birdies the last to finish one under and safely under the cut.

2234 Woods (-3) is out in the pine needles under a few trees on the 13th. He smacks it across the green and almost hits the bunker, the ball just misses it and rolls back toward the pin. Still a hard putt to be made there.

2232 Day (-7) tees off the 18th - lovely and right on the fairway.

Fowler (-5) is much the same, a little less distance than Day.

McIlroy (-10) messes it up totally and hits the bunker.

2230 So, one more hole for McIlroy, Day and Fowler. Day looks on fire, and is a big danger for Rory.

Harrington is +3 and on hole 14.

2229 McIlroy (-10) to go for birdie on the 17th. He goes from three yards, from on the green, but gets the line wrong. Another par for Rory.

2228 Day (-7) to putt for birdie on the 17th. From six yards, and on the rough, he takes an age to try to find the line. The line is spot on, but he fails to get the pace right and will have to settle for a par.

2227 Fowler (-5) takes his third on the 17th from just off the green. Decent up and down shot which makes the green.

2226 McDowell (+4) swaps places with Els after a dismal 12th hole.

2225 Els (+2) gets an eagle on the 13th, a wonderful putt from ten yards which snakes in with an acute curl to the left at the last.

2224 McIlory (-10) hits his second on 17, great shot to within two yards of the hole. Great chance of 11 under par with a birdie here.

2222 Woods (-3) goes for birdie on the 12th, he gets the line right, but the pace is wrong as it lips out at the end.

2219 McDowell (+2) must restart on the 12th, so he takes his third shot off the tee - disaster. The shot is just beside the bunker. Trouble brewing there.

2218 Fowler (-5) drives well off the 17th, as does Day (-7) who smashes it down the middle and quite a distance two.

2216 McDowell (+1) is having a nightmare and smacked his ball into the undergrowth on the 12th. He may have lost the ball.

The cut is currently +1, so this lost ball could be very costly for McDowell.

2215 Westwood (-3) makes the birdie on the 13th.

2214 Day (-7) makes a sensational birdie on the 16th to go joint second, as Fowler (-5) taps in for par. McIlroy (-10) also gets the par.

2213 Westwood (-2) misses an eagle on the 13th after getting the line wrong.

2212 McIlroy (-10) long putts on the 16th from the far end of the green. Great effort and it is a yard from the hole.

2209 Back to cheesy jazz music and Rolex ads.

2206 Fowler (-5) tees off well at the 16th. Day (-6) is next up and does well, while McIroy (-10) smacks it well, but a little far.

2205 McIlroy (-10) takes a par, he should be happy with that after his near-soaking at the 15th.

2203 Day (-6) leaves his birdie effort narrowly short and must tap in for par on the 15th. Fowler (-5) however makes a lovely birdie from two yards.

2201 Woods (-3) missed a birdie shot on the 11th. First missed birdie in four holes.

2200 McIlroy (-10) next up. He overcooks it too and nerly ends up in the water! The length of the grass in the rough saves McIlroy from the water on the 15th.

2158 Day (-6) to go again. His third shot on the 15th. He chips it high into the air and lands it beside the hole - but there is no backspin on it and the ball nearly rolls off the green and into the water. Lucky man - again.

2154 Day (-6) whacks it way past the green on the 15th - way too long. But it hits a large tree which stops the ball rolling totally out of bounds.

2153 McIlroy (-10) makes the back of the green on his second. Fowler (-4) overcooks his second and pushes the ball past the green.

2152 Kuchar (-3) takes his third shot to approach the pin, from around 68 yards - he almost underhits it and it nearly rolls into the sprinkler. But, it sticks and he escapes.

2150 Kuchar (-3) must incur a penalty shot from way back from in front of the water hazard.

2147 Woods (-3) smacks the 11th tee shot way out into the woods. Kuchar (-3) has buried his shot in the rough by the water hazard on the 11th. It looks like he may have to take a drop shot.

2145 The Tiger looking dangerous and confident, worrying for Rory Mac.

2144 Tiger Woods (-3) birdies the tenth, that's three in-a-row for Woods.

2143 McIlroy's (-10) shot off the tee is better than Day's (-6) - right down the middle of the fairway. Fowler (-4) puts his tee shot a little behind the trees, he looks a little unsettled does Fowler.

2142 Day (-6) tees off on the 530 yard 15th. He smacks it so well, but it just creeps off to the left.

2141 Johnson (-3) gets a birdie on 17 to go three under.

2139 McIlroy (-10) still three clear of KJ Choi (-7) at the top.

2138 Day (-6) birdies to go to six under, but Fowler (-4) misses his birdie from five yards and must settle for a birdie.

2137 The cut is projected at two over par by the way. Harrington (+4) is in danger of missing it.

2136 McIlroy (-10) misses the birdie putt from 8 yards, he looks annoyed, but taps in the par. Steady does it.

Crenshaw finishes on 11 over - he misses the cut.

2135 Snedeker (-4) birdies the 18th to finish on four under overall.

2133 McIlroy (-10) has controlled the distance to perfection on the 14th, the ball has dropped just past the pin - no danger of that roll back down the hill I was mentioning.

2132 Woods (-2) has birdied 8 and 9 to get to two under.

2130 Another round of flower photography and cheesy piano accompaniment. Back soon...

2129 STAT ATTACK: Four Masters champs in the field won the title before McIlroy was born.

2129 Fowler (-4) next up, a superb shot, smack in the middle of the fairway.

2127 Day (-4) tees off at the 14th, he screams in frustration as he pulls it into the woods off the fairway.

McIlroy (-10) smacks it on the 14th next, very good shot from curly as he smacks it true up the fairway. Good lad, Rory.

2124 The 14th hole has a serious slope across the green from halfway up the green, the whole way vertically across. McIlroy (-10) must smack the ball over the first 50 per cent of the green to ensure the ball doesn't dribble back down to the end of the fairway. It's a par four and 440 yards long, by the way.

2122 Fowler (-5) misses his putt. McIlroy (-10) for eagle from two yards. He gets the line wrong and must settle for birdie 4. Big misses eagle for the curly-haired warrior.

2121 Day (-5) birdies the ninth to go five under.

2118 Rory's glory shots so far are being replayed now - a bit like the hi-motion highlights from cricket innings - showing the best hits.

2117 Fowler (-4) hits a second onto the green at the 13th as well. It's a little further past the hole than McIlroy's effort.

2116 McIlroy (-9) hits his second on the 13th - amazing shot which drops two yards from the flag.

2111 At the moment I'm watching gratuitous shots of flowers provided by the director in Georgia. They really do love those flora shots. Not mad on them myself!

2110 Scott (-2) at the 15th goes for a birdie from a yard. He gets the line wrong with his long putter. But taps in for par.

2109 Rory to go next on the 13th. He takes out the drive and smacks it - he looks happy and walks off the tee straight after whacking it. It's on the fairway - nearly hitting a tree, but just staying good.

2108 The 13th hole is next for Rory. It's a par five and 510 metres long with four bunkers dottted around the green.

2105 McIlroy (-9) taps in from a yard for a four. He was very angry with himself after that missed par - it was gettable. He'll have to bury the memory of it.

2103 McIlroy (-10) nearly pars from two yards out on the 12th. The ball goes from left to right and lips out. He'll have to settle for a bogey.

2102 Fowler (-4) gets a superb two at the 12th with an excellent putt from three yards, downhill he got the line right. Good work.

2101 Garcia (-3) misses a birdie put on the seventh, just getting the line wrong - he taps in for par.

2059 McIlroy (-10) puts to the green on the 12th - from the nearby bunker - with his second shot. He lays it up on the green, should put it on the next stroke.

2056 McIlroy is leading the pack on ten under par after 11 holes so far. While Fisher goes for birdie on the 18th to finish on four under overall. From a yard to the tee he slips it in. Fisher (-4) overall.

2055 Hello folks, Brendan has just left the buidling. I have the drawn the short straw and will be the one sitting in an empty office till the early hours, guiding you through the action, wherever you may be. No, your licence fee has not stretched to me visiting Augusta on an all-expenses paid junket. I know...

By Brendan Cole

20.50 On 18, Woodland (-2) has missed his birdie putt. Quiros (-6) has made his one though - a round of 73 in the end.

Woods (level) has not made his short par save and is back to level through seven.

20.45 On 18, Gary Woodland (-2) has played an excellent shot that pitched in the rough and rolled back over to with a few feet. Quiros (-5) and Jhonny Vegas (+5) have also put their irons with a four-foot circle of the pin there.

Matt Kuchar (-4) has holed a long putt on the par-five eighth to save par.

From 250 yards on 11, McIlroy (-10) has tugged his shot a little bit, it looks dicey on landing but it skirts slope by the pond and stays on the green. A tricky two-putt coming up.

From the trees, Fowler (-4) tries to keep a hybrid low under the trees but it hits one and rolls to the middle of the fairway. Lucky break there.

On seven, Woods (-1) left his iron shot well left of his target and putting down a severe slope from right to left, he does very well to get within about three feet.

20.40 Ricky Barnes (-5) ended up with a 71. Fred Couples (-5) is interviewd and says he is 'way ahead of the game' and will see what he can do.

He adds that he has 'never really had a horrible stretch of holes' on the course. Must be a nice way to go about things......

On 11, McIlroy (-10) has pulled his drive quite badly and seen it hit a tree on the left. But the ball has done him a favour and bounced into the fairway. Lucky, and lets hope that is the end of the pulls for the day.

Fowler's (-4) shot is also off target - it goes well to the right and into the trees.

On 13, Adam Scott (-2) has made an eagle - matching Justin Rose, who did the same earlier.

20.35 Harrington (+5) has played 8 holes without making much of a dent. Woods (-1) has made birdie on six and hit a solid three wood to the left of the fairway on seven.

On 10, McIlroy (-10) has just missed his birdie attempt and seen it slip a few feet by the hole.

Fowler (-4) didn't make his par putt buyt McIlroy has holed out well. Mickelson (-2) made the par putt on 18. He has shot a level par 72.

Jim Furyk (-4) has carded a 68 to get into contention. Poulter (-1) has ended up with a 69 - plenty of trouble during his round but he finished with birdies on 13, 14 and 18.

20.31 Fowler's chip on 10 is excellent - he should make par from about three feet.

Ogilvy (-6) has missed his slippery birdie putt but par is a good result given he hit a tree with his drive. A 33 on the back nine and 69 overall. Mickelson (-2) has also missed his birdie putt and run his shot four feet past.

20.30 On the par-three sixth, Tiger (even) has hit a superb iron shot to within six feet.

And McIlroy has hit an unbelievable shot in to 10, landing it by the pin and about 8-feet right of the flag. Another birdie try on this very hard hole.

On 18, Mickelson has found the green and will have about 20-feet for birdie. Ogilvy has taken advantage of his luck, flying an iron over the top of the pin and he will have about 10-feet for birdie.

20.25 On 18, Choi (-7) has made just missed his birdie putt, sliding it just passed the front of the hole and to the right. And he then his misses the tiddler coming back.

He finishes with a bogey and is seven-under and alone in second after a 70: out in 33 and back in 37.

On 10, Fowler's shot goes just a touch over the back of the green. Tricky shot, though he is only a yard off the putting surface.

On five, Woods (level) has missed a long birdie putt. He had a bogey on three as well and is one-over today.

20.20 McIlroy (-10) is on the 10th tee. The next 45 minutes is crucial for him, with 11, 12 and 13 the traditional 'sorting out' holes. His tee shot here draws applause - another perfect draw around a corner.

Fowler's (-5) tee-shot is also in good shape - though it is slightly shorter and to the right of McIlroy's.

Ogilvy (-6) has had a huge break on 18 - he pushed his tee shot well right and into the trees but a tree has knocked it back into the fairway. Mickelson (-2) goes for a big draw and gets it, landing in the middle of the fairway by the bunkering.

20.15 Choi (-8) is playing up 18 and has hit a superb iron to within about 8 or 10 feet.

On 4, Garcia (-4) has left a birdie putt short.

20.15 McIlroy (-10) has a six footer for birdie on nine and he makes it very smoothly. He is putting very nicely and looks to have a nice, tall posture compared to poorer putting days in the past.

On 17, Mickelson (-2) has missed a birdie putt from 20-feet, leaving it well short. He has been completely becalmed today - one hole to go. Ogilvy (-6) has also made par there.

20.00 Ogilvy (-6) has got it to six-under through 16, after a birdie on 15 and he is in third on his own now.

19.41 Woods (-1) has made birdie on the second, holing a slippery one from just off the fringe.

McIlroy (-9) has parred the seventh - again finding a good spot on the green but hot making his birdie putt. Mickelson (-2) has missed a birdie putt on 14.

David Toms (-3) is finished for the day after a 69. Couples (-5) actually holed a 10-footer on 18 for par. Lee Westwood (-1) is one-under through four holes.

19.40 Couples (-5) has finished with a 68 to take the lead in the clubhouse. Fowler (-5) has also got to five under after another birdie on seven.

19.40 Ross Fisher has had a bit of a shocker on 13, blading a chip across the green and into the hazard - it's not in the water but it has skidded over the yellow line and down the bank.

19.30 McIlroy (-9) is going well but the great thing from his perspective is that others are falling back. K J Choi (-8) is still there but Yang, Barnes, Couples and Ogilvy (-5) are next in the chasing pack.

19.20 On six, Rory McIlroy (-9) has made par, while Ricky Fowler (-4) has holed a monster putt - at speed - to get to four-under. He had a bogey on one, but three birdies since have catapulted him up the leaderboard.

Tiger Woods (level) has bogied the first.

On 17, Couples (-5) has missed a birdie putt from just off the green and has also bogied 16.

19.15 Quiros (-5) has found pine straw on the right of the 13th but he has decided to have a go at the green from a tricky downhill lie. He clears Rae's Creek but finds the bunker on the left of the green.

19.10 Time to check in on McIlroy (-9) - and there is another birdie to report, he is still two-under today through five and joint-leader with KJ Choi.

19.05 And Quiros (-5) can't make what was actually about a 10-footer. Double bogey.

On 13, Mickelson (-2) has made the back fringe of the green in two but his eagle chip runs a little beyond the hole - he has an uphill eight-footer for birdie and can't make it. Par on that one.

In the same group, Ogilvy (-5) makes his medium-length downhill right to left shot for a birdie. That's a good recovery after double bogey on 2 today.

19.02 Quiros (-7) has failed to get his first bunker shot out of the hazard. His second effort is better - six-feet past the hole and he will need to make that for a bogey four.

Woodland (-1) holes his little chip from off the green for a double-bogey five.

12 is really proving tough for these long hitters.

On 13, Geoff Ogilvy (-4) has set up another birdie chance from about 10 feet after laying up and pitching.

19.00 Justin Rose (+2) has made an eagle on 13 - the first of the day there - to get within touching distance of the cut.

Fred Couples (-6) is now five-under today and six-under for the tournament through 15 holes after another birdie.

Woodland's (-3) pitch on 12 after a drop is poor - he puts it over the green and into the bunker. He's looking at a five at best now on this par-three.

On 13, Choi (-8) makes his short putt to join McIlroy in the lead.

18.55 On 12, Woodland (-3) is first to go. With 9-iron he hits it in the water right and well short of the pin. Poor shot. Quiros (-7) is next - 'get down, get down' he says to the ball in the air. But it won't, and goes in the bunker just over the back. Tough to make par from there.

On the tee on 13, Mickelson (-2) hits a controlled fade that is almost perfect - it went slightly too far but he'll have a shot from around 200 yards and is likely to have a go at the green. Mickelson kept his balance nicely on that tee shot.

In the group up ahead, Choi (-7) has laid up and has 88 yards to go, and he hits a brilliant wedge and will have four feet for birdie.

18.50 Mickelson (-2) is dividing opinion at this stage - will he stay in touch and light it up on Saturday or Sunday, or will the driver start hurting more. The second factor is the four-footers - at which Mickelson can be very poor at times. Will he keep holing out?

On 12, he hits it straight at the flag but ends up just a few yards too long with his iron shot, and he two putts from the fringe for par.

On 11, Gary Woodland (-3 ) has played an excellent mid-iron 3rd shot after finding trouble off the tee to give himself a chance to save par and he makes a slippery one to do so.

Quiros (-7) is also with that group. He over-reads a birdie putt from about 12 feet and walks away with a par.

18.40 On 11, Ogilvy (-3) also has that tough chip from the right side of the green albeit his is a little shorter and he plays it nicely to with about three feet and short of the hole, and he holes out confidently from there.

Mickelson (-2) has dropped a shot there to get his round back into order: it is now four birdies and four bogeys.

KJ Choi (-7), on 12, misses his 30-foot birdie putt by a few inches - great pace - and will make par.

Schwartzel (-4) is in the clubhouse after a second round 71 to go with his opening 69.

18.35 Coming off a birdie on 10, Mickelson (-3) is well right of the 11th green in two and his chip is a little pacy. He'll have 15 feet plus for par.

On 12, Choi (-7) hits the green and will a 25-footer for birdie. YE Yang (-5) has dropped like a stone - he has had bogeys on 9, 10 and 16.

18.30 Couples (-5) just misses the putt, reading a little too much break. Donald (-4), lining up and playing quite quickly, does make his for his third birdie in four holes. He had 38 for his first nine yesterday but is making up plenty of ground on the back again.

Choi (-7) has dropped a shot on 11, leaving McIlroy (-8) alone out in front. Tiger (-1) is due out shortly.

Stricker (+1) also hit a great shot in there on 14 but he misses the putt from about 10 feet.

18.25 on 14, Donald (-3) takes 8-iron and hits a stunning shot just past the flag and five feet from the hole on the left. Couples (-5), out of the rough, has to land his shot a little short of the pin and with 9-iron plays another superb shot - six feet short of the pin.

18.20 Currently, 61 players would make the cut, which is projected to be at +2. But that number may well come down as the day continues. If McIlroy can stretch the lead and get to -11 or -12, it would certainly put some other players out early.

18.20 Couples (-5) has pitched to about 15 feet on 13, it's a lightning fast putt and he rolls it a few inches past. Par for him. Donald (-3) made birdie there and has found the middle of the 14th fairway with a good look at the flag. Couples is a tough right and in the second cut.

McIlroy (-8) has made a birdie on 2 to join Choi (-8) in the lead, while Quiros (-7) has dropped a shot on the 9th.

18.05 Couples actually had 228 but he has opted to lay up from the thickish rough on 13 and will try to pitch and putt for birdie. Donald (-2) takes on the shot and hits a solid ball from 216 yards to the centre of the green.

Casey (-3) makes the putt on 11 - one of the only men to have done so today.

18.00 Playing with Couples, Luke Donald plays a great 3-wood to the middle of the fairway but he will also have about 230 to go - centre cut of the fairway in his case though.

Phil Mickelson (-2) is playing erratically, with three birdies and three bogeys on the front nine - he is out in level par 36 today.

Paul Casey (-2) has played a great shot in to 11 and will have a chance to get to under par for the day and -3 overall.

17.55 On Amen Corner, Couples' (-5) sinks his birdie putt from 20-feet to continue his great round. He takes 3-wood on the 13th tee and it stays out to the right a bit - he will have to make a decision on laying up or going for it from 235 yards or so and in the rough.

On 13, Barnes (-5) has a 10-foot eagle putt which just slips across the front of the hole. Tap in birdie for him.

Tom Watson (+8), playing alongside, also makes birdie.

Quiros and Choi are now joint leaders (-8). Choi has played nine, while Quiros has gone through 8.

17.50 Anthony Kim (+5) has had a whiff in the trees on the 11th, and he then took an unplayable lie and dropped his ball about two feet beside the original spot.

Odd stuff, and he eventually runs his fourth shot up short of the green, from where he pitches to about 10 feet. He needs to hole it to make six.

Henrik Stenson (+12), is also in this group. He had an air shot yesterday - when making an eight on the fourth. He plays next and his shot is way off, miles right with a mid-iron. He then chunks his pitch shot and is not on the green yet.

Steve Marino (level) is also with this group and playing fairly well. He is in front of the green in two.

17.40 Luke Donald (-2) has chipped in on 11 for a brilliant birdie to get to two-under. He got relief from a sprinklerhead and played a lovely little shot that checked a touch and rolled in the right side of the cup.

Couples (-4) putts his big breaker from off the green and he paces it very well to have a three feet for par, which he holes.

Stricker (+1) hit the green with his second but plays a little too much break - and has a tap in par.

This is the site of the famous Larry Mize chip-in that beat Greg Norman.

17.40 McIlroy (-7) is teeing off in a few minutes. Out on the course, Quiros (-7) has got it back to seven-under through seven holes with a birdie on....seven.

17.35 51-year-old Fred Couples (-4) is having a going day with birdies on 2, 3 and 7 so far. He has played a clever second shot out of the second cut and just to the right of 11, bouncing it off the slope on the right of the green and having it roll and settle just on the edge of the green.

17.25 Davis Love III (+5) has hit the shot of the day on 12 - his tee-shot landing a few yards short and rolling to within two feet.

Ricky Barnes (-5) has hit a very good third shot from 130 yards into the par-four 11th but he has a tricky 8-foot putt coming up for par. 'Focus' says his caddy as he set up, and he did so. Barnes must have found trouble off the tee there.

17.20 Luke Donald (-2) has lost some momentum after a bogey on seven. He is still -2 today after three bogeys on the early holes.

Ciaran McDonnell (via e-mail): "I have Y.E at 95s. It's still very early days but the place pays 23.75/1. Also have Donald and Fowler who are looking good."

Simon Delaney (via e-mail): "I reckon McIlroy will go -10 today, -9 on Sat, but go to -10 on Sunday and win it by one shot to Tiger!"

17.15 Zach Johnson (even), playing with Jimenez and Yang, has holed a six-footer to make a good par from the back bunker on 12.

17.10 Yang (-6) sets up another birdie try on 12 after hitting a tidy shot short and right of the flag but he misses left from about 12 feet and walks away with par.

Miguel Angel Jimenez (+1) got his tee shot inside the Korean's band from six-feet he can't make it and misses the chance to get back to level par.

Alvaro Quiros (-6) has parred his way through holes 2 to 6. McIlroy is now the sole player on seven-under. Barnes (-5) has slipped back again - he is five-under through 10.

On 13, Immelman has 213 yards to go. From the left of the fairway, he tries to hit a smooth hook/draw at the pin but overdoes it and is lucky to find the bunker over on the left of the green.

17.05 On 13, Ian Poulter (+1) has played a great chip from the back of the green and makes birdie. Toms (-2) has also made a birdie on 13 after laying up and hitting a great wedge. Cabrera (-1) has just missed his short birdie putt after chipping well out of the hazard.

Toms is the joint record holder for low score on the back nine - he had an unbelievable 29 on it in his fourth round in 1998. The other holder of that record is Mark Calcavecchia (also fourth round; 1992)

On 11, Yang (-6) has left his birdie putt short - just a par there for him.

17.00 At the top of the leaderboard, KJ Choi (-8) has now taken the lead through six holes after birdies on 2, 4 and 6. YE Yang (-6) has dropped back after bogies on 10 and 11 but has hit a good shot in to the 11th and will have a birdie putt.

Barnes (-6) has also dropped a shot, in his case taking a six on the 8th, to move back.

Moore (-2) has made that putt for birdie on 13, while Immelman (-2) found the bunker on 12, and like Cabrera he has run it well by the hole. He makes a four in the end.

Cabrera (-1) also made four on 12. He is playing 13 and his second has come up just short of the green - but again, the ball has stuck on the bank instead of going in the water. He is right at the bottom of the Rae's Creek though.

16.50 Immelman (-3) made his putt to limit the damage there. Just a bogey.

The amateur Hideki Matsuyama (even) makes a birdie on 11 and he follows that with a brilliant tee shot on 12 - he'll have six feet for another.

Ryan Moore (-1) has hit his ball in the hazard but not in the water on par-five the 13th. As he sets up to the shot on the bank below the green, he calls over a rules official.

It seems the ball moved a tiny bit after Moore had taken a position over the ball, but he had not soled his ball behind the ball (he can't because he is in a hazard). So there is no penalty.

And Moore plays a tidy enough chip to five-feet, which he'll have for birdie.

16.45 Cabrera's bunker shot ran well by the hole. He has a long putt for par but can't make it and runs it a good four feet by the hole.

Poulter and Toms run their birdie putts just past hole but both are well paced and they make tap in pars.

On 11, Immelman's fourth shot is from a drop zone 52 yards away from the hole. He plays it beautifully, landing it by the flag and having it spin back a couple of feet. He'll have three feet for a five there.

Lucas Glover (+5) - boasting a rather bushy beard - has parred 11 but he is not in contention this week.

16.40 YE Yang has dropped a shot on nine and is back level with McIlroy and Barnes and now KJ Choi (all -7), who has birdied 2 and 4 to join that group.

Former winner Immelman (-4) is also near the lead. The cameras pick up his approach to 11. From the right of the fairway, he hits a draw shot that goes high and also a touch short and left and it jumps into the hazard.

A breath of wind helped to take that into the pond. He'll do well to make bogey now.

On 12, Cabrera has found the bunker. Poulter and Toms have both the green to the left of the flag.

16.35 Toms (-1) has hit a good putt on 11 but it is a tiny bit short of pace. A par there. Cabrera (-2) left himself short from the front but he holes out for par too.

But Poulter (+2) has made bogey there, leaving his first putt from just off the green short and then pulling his firmly struck putt for par left. He actually had to make a fairly substantial putt for bogey in the end.

16.30 The remarkable thing about Tiger's 1997 total is that he started with a 40 on the front nine to be +4. He played the remaining 63 holes in -22, starting with a six-under 30 on the back nine on Thursday.

Back to the present, Angel Cabrera (-2) is also playing himself into contention - a great shot on 11 has given him a shot at birdie from below the hole. David Toms (-1) has also found the green there.

Playing with the same group, Ian Poulter (+1) has slowed down a bit and is just off the green on the safe (right hand) side this time. Bogies on 5 and 8 have put him back over par.

16.25 The lowest ever Masters winning score was Tiger Woods' total of 270 for four rounds in 1997 - when he beat Tom Kite by 12 shots (also a record). 270 is 18-under-par, and this year's field could well approach that total unless something strange happens.

It should be quite a bit tighter this time.

K-T Kim (-2) has parred 11.

Fred Couples (-4) is now near the top of the leaderboard after birdies on 2, 4 and 7.

16.20 Kyung-Tae Kim - one of three Kims in the field along with Anthony and Lion - is two-under playing 11. The South Korean has hit the green with a good shot to the right of what is an accessible pin today - up front and in the right half of the green.

YE Yang (-8) has taken sole ownership of the lead after a birdie on the par-five 8th. That is his fourth birdie today.

Also going well is Luke Donald (-3) who is three-under through six after starting the day on level par. From being virtually out of it at +3 on the 10th yesterday evening, he is now tied-7th.

16.10 Mickelson (-3) has made an early birdie. He is three-under through three holes. Schwartzel's (-4) eagle effort on 13 is underhit but he has made birdie there.

16.05 Alvaro Quiros (-6) has bogied the first to slip back a shot and leave the trio of Yang, Barnes and McIlroy out in front.

Crane (+1) has made a birdie on 12.

16.02 Michael Humphries (via e-mail): "Have a few sheckles on Ricky Barnes @ 75/1 (Hail Mary full of grace......) You can do it Ricky!"

Can Ricky's (-7) take it back and then fall over move stand up over the entire four rounds? He does have a very good record in Majors........

16.00 Hoffman is having quite the adventure on 13, laying up way to the right of the fairway and on a path. On the same hole, Schwartzel (-3) found the middle of the fairway and his high draw shot is excellent: he has a 20-footer for eagle coming up.

15.55 Ricky Barnes (-7) has joined the leaders. Now playing the seventh, he has already birdied 2, 4 and 6 today.

15.50 We have live pictures of Amen Corner now. Ben Crane is coming through, and the world's slowest golfer is taking relief from a water sprinkler on 11. Slowly.

Put on the kettle....we'll see how Ben gets on when he plays his shot in 15 minutes or so.

Elsewhere, the American commentators have taken the time to praise Charlie Hoffman's (+1) dress sense ('lovely outfit' intones one; 'green slacks, green shoes', murmurs the other approvingly). Either way, the mulleted American is one-over.

And Ben (+2) has played a decent chip shot. He'll make par there, to remain two-over.

15.45 Wonder how much cash is on Rory, and at what price. He could be backed at 28/1 or so before the off. He's about 5/1 now.

Dave Dolan (via e-mail): "Backed the Holywood Star myself so keep the low scoring Rory and you will please this Limerick man!"

15.40 It looks like those predictions about a tougher setup holding back the scoring won't come to pass in the end.

RTÉ Sport's Greg Allen is at Augusta, and he's also on twitter.

@GregallenRTE (via twitter): 'On a grey morning, scoring is pretty hot. Yang birdies 2,3 and 4 to tie the lead with McIlroy and Quiros on 7 under.'

15.35 And YE Yang (-7) has joined McIlroy and Quiros after another birdie: a 2 on the par-three fourth.

Schwartzel (-3) continues to hang around, he is level par for the day after shooting a 36 on the front nine. Another South African, former champion Trevor Immelman (-3), is also tipping along near the lead. He is level par through five so far today.

Fred Couples (-2), who became frustrated down the back nine yesterday evening, has made an early birdie on the par-five 2nd to get back on track.

And Ricky Barnes (-5) is another mover on the front nine - he has also got a birdie on 2 to go with pars on 1 and 3.

15.30 Graeme McDowell has also been tweeting about this and that as well ("Great playing today wee mon. Keep doing it." was his message for McIlroy).

No fresh updates about Pádraig Harrington, who is not on twitter. The Dubliner revealed that neck trouble restricted his ability to swing the club properly yesterday.

@Grame_McDowell (on yesterday's play, via twitter): "Disappointing back nine today. Played decent but 3 putted 4 times coming in. Lost my pace completely. Need 3 low ones from here."

15.20 Rory McIlroy has been tweeting his admiration for the golf swing of 2010 US Amateur Champion Peter Uihlein.

Rory McIlroy (@mcilroyrory): "Watching the end of the masters coverage on ESPN. I love Peter Uihlein's golf swing!"

By happy coincidence, Peter Uihlein is the son of Wally Uihlein, who is the chairman and chief executive of Acushnet, who are the owners of Titleist, who are the sponsors of....yep that's right: Rory McIlroy!

15.05 Just keeping track of Poulter (level): he has bogied the fifth to drop back to level par for the tournament.

David Toms (-1) is quietly creeping into contention after a birdie on the 3rd and pars on 1, 2, 4 and 5.

15.00 Kieran Reddan (via e-mail) has two selections still in the hunt: Phil Mickelson and Angel Cabrera.

"Phil scrambled well as per usual, hope he calms down. Cabrera warmed up nicely with a top ten finish in Puerto Rico while relaxing with the sun on his back - perfect warm up for the big one."

Cabrera (-1) is level through four holes so far today, while Mickelson (-2) is due out shortly.

On the course, YE Yang (-6) has recovered from that poor start and is now one-under for the day after birdies at 2 and 3.

14.40 YE Yang (-4) is off to a moderate start - he has bogied the first to slip back a shot into the tied-4th group. Charl Schwartzel has also dropped a shot, a bogey on four dropping him back to (-2) through six holes.

Ian Poulter (-1; -3 today) is proving that there is a score out there. He had a disaster finish yesterday, but birdies on 1, 2 and 3 have put him right back into contention on.

14.10 As expected, it looks as though scoring will be pretty tough out there. There are 18 players on the course and as the leading groups are approaching the fifth, just three players (Ben Crane, Ian Poulter and Charley Hoffman) are under par for today's round.

Poulter and Hoffman birdied the 1st, while Crane birdied the par-5 2nd. No player has gone lower than -1 so far today.

14.00 Quiros led the driving distance stats by 10 yards after the first round, but American Gary Woodland actually knocked it past him a couple of times on the back nine.

So how did Quiros come out top in this stat?

Well, Woodland left his driver in the bag for most of the front nine, opting to use three-wood. And down the stretch, Quiros started to hit slight pushes that may have cost him a couple of yards.

Still, Woodland was very long and straight on the back side and looked to have the measure of Quiros for distance on some holes, despite what the stats say.

13.45 Among the early starters is Charl Schwartzel (-3), who has started with pars on 1, 2 and 3 and remains tied-7th.

The course setup today is tougher but we won't know for certain until some more players go through just how much of an effect it will have.

Conditions are perfect again - it is warm with very little wind.

If the cut had been made at the end of yesterday's round, only 14 players would have missed it. The back nine was particularly easy but we can expect the scoring to much more varied today.

13.35 Good afternoon and welcome to today's Masters tracker. Where would you put your money today? Phil Mickelson obviously has a big chance after driving badly for most of his first round and still managing to shoot a 70, while Rory McIlroy is sure to attract plenty of support after his superb 65.

Of the two leaders, Alvaro Quiros is the man most likely to slip back down the leaderboard - he is priced at 14/1 today. That is despite the fact that he looks to have the pace of these greens down and superior control of his irons: the regular 350 yard drives also help.

But what about Tiger Woods? A 71 on day one is in line with the type of start he has tended to make here over the years and it may be that the trickier the pin positions get, the more his still excellent iron play will come to the fore.

Also around 14/1, Eldrick might just be the best man to have a sneaky fiver on at this stage.