Shane Lowry produced some scintilating golf to play himself into a share of second place at the Masters, hitting a four-under-par 68 at Augusta National.

The 2019 Open champion started the day on one over par, six shots off the overnight lead of Sungjae Im, and moved to two over with an opening bogey to start his second round on Friday.

However, a bounce-back birdie on the par-five second hole kicked the Offaly man into gear and from there produced flawless golf, which included another birdie on the seventh to turn on level par for the tournament.

Lowry then moved right into contention, attacking the back nine and picking up three further shots with a hole-out on ten, and birdies on 13 and 15, before making par on the final three holes to post 68.

"I'd say that's one of the best rounds I've ever played," said Lowry, speaking to Sky Sports after his round.

"I'm in a great position. "You’re going to need everything to go your way to be standing there getting a green jacket on Sunday.

"I’m where I want to be. I’m where I need to be. It’s going to be hard, but I’m looking forward to it."

While the Clara native is sharing second place, Scottie Scheffler lived up to his world number one status by posting an incredible five-under 67 to take a five-shot lead into the weekend.

Starting the round on three under following Thursday's 69, Scheffler posted seven birdies and two bogeys to put himself into a commanding position at the half-way stage.

Three other players share second with Lowry, including former champions Charl Schwartzel and Hideki Matsuyama, as well as overnight leader Sungjae Im.

Tiger Woods battled his way to a two-over 74, in a round that looked like it was going to get away from the five-time champion.

Woods dropped four shots inside the opening five holes, but made birdies on eight and ten to get back on track.

Yet back-to-back bogeys saw the former world number one undo the good work as he moved out to three over with the cut mark looming large at four over.

But the Woods of old returned for the final six holes, playing the remaining holes in two under par with birdies on 13 and 14 before finishing with four straight pars.

Scottie Scheffler made it look easy and leads by five at the halfway stage

Rory McIlroy and Seamus Power will also be playing at the weekend as the Irish duo sit on two and four over respectively.

Four-time major winner McIlroy hit a steady level-par front nine, but then dropped three shots in two holes to start the back nine.

Birdies on 13 and 16 followed to get the County Down golfer back to two over and McIlroy will begin the third round just outside the top 20.


Leaderboard


"I'm in a decent position," McIlroy said. "I’d like to be a couple of shots better at least, but I’m still right there. You go out tomorrow and you play a decent front nine and all of a sudden you’re right in the thick of things.

"I do enjoy the challenge. Yeah, this is what major championship golf is all about. It’s not easy and it’s not supposed to be easy. I think the conditions look pretty similar tomorrow as well, so looking forward to that.

"To play the last seven holes in two under was really nice. I hit the ball very well coming in. I felt like I left a couple out there too. I had a few chances."

Waterford native Power had to battle to make it through to the weekend on his maiden Masters appearance, but made two birdies inside the final six holes to get in on the cut mark.

Padraig Harrington, however, missed out on a place in the third round, missing a birdie putt on the 18th that would have seen him join Power on four over. The three-time major winner posted 75 to end up on five over par.