Following two rounds of the 2014 Masters Tournament, Bubba Watson is out in front by three strokes and 36 holes from his second green jacket in three years. That’s not surprising.
What is surprising is that Phil Mickelson won’t be with him on the weekend. Sure, Lefty has struggled this season, but this is Augusta National. He hadn’t missed the Masters cut since 1997, and in his last 15 starts there, he’d placed among the top 10 all but three times.
Mickelson is one of many surprises through two rounds of this year’s Masters:
Surprises Among Players Who Made Cut
Rory McIlroy: He was a bit unlucky (one shot on 13 bounced off a sprinkler cover and into the azaleas), but we thought he’d figure into some sort of contention considering his solid form early this season. Instead, McIlroy made the cut right on the number (+4) after going 4-over-par on Friday’s back nine.
Jason Day: Ranked No. 4 in the world, Day’s injured thumb must be more of an issue than he led on. He had a win and a T-2 in three PGA Tour appearances coming into this week, and placed solo third last year at Augusta. He seemed primed for his first major, but he just sneaked into the weekend right on the cut line as well.
John Senden: The 42-year-old Aussie won a few weeks ago at the Valspar Championship, so it’s not a shock that he made the cut. But to sit all by his lonesome in second place, three shots behind Watson? He had never contended in four previous trips to Augusta.
Thomas Bjorn: Denmark’s Bjorn has played Augusta a few more times than Senden (10 starts), but like Senden, Bjorn had never contended until today. He matched Senden’s 4-under 68 on Friday and sits at 3-under overall.
Mike Weir: Ranked 692nd in the world and only in the Masters because of his lifetime invite after winning the 2003 tournament, Weir was cut the last three years at Augusta. Not this year. He turned in a 1-over 73 on Thursday, then shot up the leaderboard with four birdies and no bogies on his front nine Friday. Four bogeys on the back nine evened that score out, but he’s tied for 21st and playing on the weekend.
Surprises Among Players Who Didn’t Make Cut
Phil Mickelson: He placed extra emphasis on the majors this season and he’s ranked No. 5 in the world, but that just makes Mickelson the highest-ranked player to miss the cut. He finished 5-over, meaning he was one stroke from playing the weekend. That triple-bogey on the par-3 sixth might have had something to do with it.
Sergio Garcia: Right behind Mickelson in the world rankings, Garcia was right with him at +5. Not that he was playing spectacular, but he was in decent shape until he bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18. It’s his first missed cut of the season.
Dustin Johnson: Paulina Gretzky’s future husband was arguably playing more consistently than anyone in the world, with five top-10s in seven official PGA Tour events. Maybe there’s more to that withdrawal he gave no explanation for last week? Regardless, the Masters remains the only major at which Johnson has yet to record a top-10 finish.
Marc Leishman: The Aussie began the day in fifth place, then reeled off birdies on is first three holes Friday to take a share of the lead. From there? An epic and unfortunate collapse: 10-over the rest of the way, a 7-over-par round, and a missed cut by one stroke.
Angel Cabrera: A year ago, Cabrera dueled with eventual winner Adam Scott in a playoff at the Masters. Five years ago, he won his first green jacket. Nine years ago was the last time Cabrera missed the cut at Augusta – until today. There was that triple-bogey at 11 on Thursday and the three bogeys over his final five holes on Friday, leading to a +8.
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