Jon Rahm, No. 2 in the world, completed a 66 to join top-ranked Dustin Johnson and No. 3 Justin Thomas among 5 in the lead
Rahm, a 26-year-old Spaniard who is looking for his first major championship, completed a bogey-free 6-under 66 that yielded a share of the lead at 9-under 135. The Masters leaderboard features the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 players in the world ranking – Dustin Johnson, Rahm and Justin Thomas, respectively – at the top, tied with Australia’s Cameron Smith and Mexico’s Abraham Ancer (scores). It is the first time since the advent of the Official World Golf Ranking in 1986 that Nos. 1, 2 and 3 were tied for the lead in any round of a major championship.
The cut to the low 50 players and ties – 60 in all – was made at even-par 144 for the final two rounds. Players were being repaired Saturday morning for the start of the third round off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. If the round is completed before darkness, as projected, the 84th Masters would be back on schedule for the first time since shortly after daybreak Thursday.
Defending champion Tiger Woods, a five-time winner of the green jacket, was tied with three-time champion Phil Mickelson in 17th place at 5-under 139, four strokes off the lead.
Among the players to make the cut: two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer, who at 63 is the oldest player to advance to the final two rounds; amateurs John Augenstein and Andy Ogletree, in a rematch of their 2019 U.S. Amateur final, which Ogletree won; and reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who came into the tournament amid so much speculation about how he would pummel Augusta National with his 350-yard-plus drives.
As darkness descended across Augusta National at about 5:30 p.m. Friday, Rahm wedged to about 4 feet for birdie putt at the par-5 No. 13. Given the option to complete the hole or wait until morning, he decided to mark his ball and face the putt to start his day Saturday.
“The only reason that I didn’t putt it was darkness,” he said. “I didn’t want to end the day on a wrong note. I’m glad I waited.”
Rahm holed the putt shortly after daybreak Saturday and then made par on his final five holes to find a spot at the top of a crowded leaderboard. A record 10 players were within one stroke of the lead after 36 holes.
Inclement weather suspended play for 2 hours and 45 minutes shortly after the first round began early Thursday, which affected the schedule for subsequent days.
Rahm said the greens, which still are holding shots exceptionally well after Thursday morning’s downpour, are getting faster each day.
“Augusta National is going to be more like Augusta National,” he said. “We’re going to see a lot more slippery putts.”
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