With Justin Rose shooting even par yesterday, he opened the door for the rest of the field to narrow his four stroke lead. It is not as if Rose failed to score well, shooting even par, it just that the other players took advantage of the better scoring conditions. I am actually surprised at how many players actually shot under par (11 on day one); 38 players were in red numbers on day two with Bernd Wiesberger and Tony Finau shooting 66. The conditions must have been very friendly to scoring to have just under half the players shooting under par. Yesterday was atypical and all the movement reminded me of what should happen today – moving day!
It is about now that I would make a prediction about who is going to shoot well today. However, I am going to refrain from doing so because I seem to be a black cloud for those I choose. So, I am going to talk in generalities about what I think what players need to do in order to be in the final group on Sunday. Before I do, I think that Augusta National will continue to play easier as the humidity and potential of rain remains in the forecast. These conditions will greatly help those chasing Rose.
On moving day, I think those who hit the ball long and straight off the tee will have a leg up on the field. There are many players who can hit the ball long, but they need to hit the ball in play on the short grass to find success today. After watching two days of tee shots, I am convinced that hitting the ball in play is the first key to shooting a low golf score.
Putting will continue to be a game changer. Knowing when to be aggressive, tentative and confident on the Augusta National greens is critical of scoring low. The player who cracks this code will win the day. It is important not follow Si Woo Kim’s response to poor putting:
Kim’s mental error did not cost him any strokes by the end of the round, but it likely prevented him from gaining any ground on Rose in the last four holes. I would recommend that no player follow Kim’s lead during today’s round.
Unlike the first two days, I believe that the most critical aspect of any player shooting low today lies in their approach shots. If a player is consistently outside 10 feet, then I do not see them moving up the leaderboard. The few players that have command of their approach shots (like Justin Rose on day one) will find themselves vying playing late in the day on Sunday.
Day two at The 2021 Masters was fun to watch. There were many opportunities for players to score well and many did. The top of the leaderboard has many young guns clambering after Justin Rose. Moving day will be especially exciting and I have to give a huge shout out to Corey Connors sitting just four strokes behind in a tie for 13th. It would awesome to see another Canadian claim the coveted Green Jacket.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!