World number one Scottie Scheffler had history on his side as he took a record-equalling lead into the third round of the 86th Masters.
Seeking a remarkable fourth win in his last six events, Scheffler carded a superb second round of 67 to post a halfway total of eight under par at Augusta National.
That gave the 25-year-old American a commanding five-shot lead over defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel, Ireland’s Shane Lowry and first-round leader Sungjae Im.
Four of the five previous players to hold such a halfway lead went on to claim the green jacket, with Jordan Spieth the most recent to do so in 2015.
“I feel like my game is in a good spot,” Scheffler said with considerable understatement.
“Once I saw that I took the lead my first thought was to just keep trying to build it just because I feel like I’m playing well.
“That will be the goal on Saturday, just to keep putting myself in good positions, execute shots and as long as I’m committed to everything, everything should be fine. The rest really isn’t up to me.”
Quote of the day
Tyrrell Hatton makes his feelings about his putting crystal clear.
shot of the day
Former Open champion Stewart Cink used the slope on the 16th to perfection to make a hole-in-one.
Tweet of the day
Former player and TV commentator Tony Johnstone sums up the achievement of Tiger Woods in making the cut following his car crash last year.
Round of the day
Scheffler and Justin Thomas both shot 67, but Scheffler’s gave him a record-equalling five-shot lead.
Statistics of the day
The omens look good for Scheffler fans.
The par-five second succeeded the eighth hole as the easiest, a generous pin position helping to yield three eagles and 37 birdies for a scoring average of 4,573.
The par-four 11th was the toughest hole for the second day running, with just two players making birdie, eight making a double bogey and two faring even worse. That all added up to a scoring average of 4,629.
Saturday will be a chilly day, struggling to warm into the upper 50s during the afternoon. Cloud cover thickens up again in the afternoon with another low chance for a brief shower. Winds will again be breezy but not as strong as Friday, becoming sustained near 15 mph and gusting 20-25 mph at times.
Key tee times (all BST)
1750 Robert MacIntyre, Lee Westwood
1800 Kevin Kisner, Tiger Woods
1850 Danny Willett, Joaquin Niemann
1940 Sungjae Im, Shane Lowry
1950 Scottie Scheffler, Charl Schwartzel
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.