Golfer Lahiri makes halfway cut at Masters

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Augusta (Georgia), April 9 (IANS) Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri scored one-over 73 to make the halfway cut in the 80th Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club here.

The world No.51 on Friday improved his performance as he carded 73 to add to his opening round of 76. The 28-year-old was tied 47th with a two-day total of five-over 149. The 36-hole cut fell at 150.

Lahiri was two-under till the 11 holes, helped by three birdies on the third, fifth and 11th holes against a bogey on the par-four seventh.

But after the 11th hole, he made three bogeys on the 13th, 15th and 17th that undid the good work done in the initial phase.

At the end of the second round, he shared the spot with some of the biggest names like Martin Kaymer, Patrick Reed and Bill Haas.

Meanwhile, American defending champion Jordan Spieth (74) held a one-shot at the top over Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy (one-under 71.

World No.2 Spieth, who fired a bogey-free six-under 66 on Thursday to take the first-round, struggled in the second round. He scored 74 to take the 36-hole total to four-under 140.

Spieth scored birdies on the first, third, eighth and 15th, against bogeys on the ninth, 10th, 16th and 17th, alongside a double bogey on the fifth.

McIlroy was one shot ahead of New Zealander Danny Lee and American Scott Piercy. Brandt Snedeker, Hideki Matsuyama and Soren Kjeldsen shared the fifth place three strokes off the pace.

World No.1 Jason Day remained five strokes behind Spieth as the Australian scored 73.

On Friday, there were no rounds in the 60s for the first time since the third round of the 2007 tournament. Only four players broke par and the second-round scoring average was a whopping 75.02.

Among the biggest names who missed the cut were former Masters winners Trevor Immelman, Charl Schwartzel, Zach Johnson, Mike Weir, Sandy Lyle, Vijay Singh, Ian Woosnam and Tom Watson, the latter two who were playing in the event for the final time.

Ernie Els, Branden Grace, Darren Clarke, Phil Mickelson, Chris Kirk and Ian Poulter will also miss the weekend rounds.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson was lucky to make the cut as he scored a second 75.

For the third round, 22-year-old Spieth and 26-year-old world No.3 McIlroy will play together in the final pairing on Saturday.

While Spieth is bidding to become just the fourth player to successfully defend at Augusta National after Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods, McIlroy is trying to become just the sixth man to complete the career Grand Slam.

“I’ve been concentrating on myself out there, because if you start to think about anyone else — I’ve only got the mental capacity to focus on me right now and especially how tough it is out there,” McIlroy told when asked about dueling with Spieth.

“Yeah, it would be great for the tournament and create a lot of buzz, but at the same time, I just need to focus on myself and make sure that I play another solid round of golf.”

Spieth said: “There’s the potential tomorrow for someone to shoot a few under and move up into the lead from outside the top 25.

“I mean, there’s a potential for that with what I saw on the last six holes today, the way the course was playing. So I don’t think either one of us is focused on each other. I think we’re focused on the golf course.”

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