The Masters: Patrick Reed the man to catch at halfway stage at Augusta

PATRICK REED reproduced his Ryder Cup form in stunning fashion to claim the halfway lead as the eagerly anticipated 82nd Masters more than lived up to the hype.

Patrick Reed reacts after missing a par putt on the 10th hole during the second round at the Masters. Picture: AP/David J. Phillip

Reed had not broken 70 in 12 rounds at Augusta National before this week, but made light of testing conditions to add a superb 66 to his opening 69 to finish nine under par, two shots ahead of Australia’s Marc Leishman.

The leading pair are both seeking a first major title with Leishman having lost out in a play-off for the 2015 Open, but eight of the top 13 have at least one of the game’s biggest titles under their belts.

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Former Open champion Henrik Stenson is four shots off the pace on five under par, with Rory McIlroy and 2015 winner Jordan Spieth another stroke back.

Rory McIlroy reacts after a birdie on the 14th hole during the second round at the Masters. Picture: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

US PGA champion Justin Thomas matched Leishman’s 67 to finish three under par alongside the man he could replace as world number one, Dustin Johnson, with Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson all two under.

The biggest name missing from the top of the leaderboard was 14-time major winner Tiger Woods, who only made the cut with a shot to spare after a disappointing 75.

McIlroy, who needs to win a green jacket to become just the sixth player to complete the career grand slam, added a 71 to his opening 69 but was somewhat disappointed to miss good birdie chances on the last two holes.

All four of McIlroy’s major wins to date have been achieved after being in the top five after the first round, a statistic the 28-year-old was not aware of.

Tiger Woods, left, catches a ball tossed by his caddie Joe LaCava as he gets ready to putt during the second round of the Masters at Augusta. Picture: Jason Getz/AP

“I think once you get yourself up there, you’re playing well enough after day one that if you continue that good play, you should be up there for the rest of the tournament,” said McIlroy, who was tied for fourth on Thursday.

“I’ve always felt comfortable being up around the lead. It’s a place that I’m thankfully quite familiar with and know how to deal with. I feel relaxed. I’m constantly having a conversation with myself about staying in the present and just one shot at a time and all the cliche stuff that you hear about. But it’s true.”

Spieth recovered from a nightmare start to card a 74 which included failing to make a single birdie on the front nine for the first time in his career.

“The first few holes I just hit it everywhere you can’t hit it,” said Spieth, who had led or shared the lead after nine of his previous 17 rounds in the Masters.

Rory McIlroy reacts after a birdie on the 14th hole during the second round at the Masters. Picture: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

“I got a little brain-dead to start but to still be in the tournament after two rounds, would I have taken being in this position three or four weeks ago? Absolutely.”

Woods was among the late starters and had moved three shots closer to the lead without hitting a shot, but followed a perfect drive on the first by missing the green and making bogey to drop back to two over.

And things went from bad to worse for the 14-time major winner when he fired his approach into bushes over the green on the fifth to run up a double bogey.

Phil Mickelson, seeking to become the oldest winner in Masters history at 47, was two off the lead before running up a triple bogey on the ninth after his recovery attempt ricocheted off a tree.

Tiger Woods, left, catches a ball tossed by his caddie Joe LaCava as he gets ready to putt during the second round of the Masters at Augusta. Picture: Jason Getz/AP

And despite bouncing back immediately with a birdie on the 10th, the five-time major winner dropped five shots in his last eight holes to shoot 79 and make the cut on the mark of five over par.

Collated second round scores & totals in The Masters, Augusta National GC, Augusta, Georgia, United States of America (USA unless stated, par 72):

(a) denotes amateurs (Cut 149): 135 Patrick Reed 69 66; 137 Marc Leishman (Aus) 70 67; 139 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 69 70; 140 Rory McIlroy (Nirl) 69 71, Jordan Spieth 66 74; 141 Dustin Johnson 73 68, Justin Thomas 74 67; 142 Tony Finau 68 74, Charley Hoffman 69 73, Justin Rose (Eng) 72 70, Bubba Watson 73 69, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 71 71, Rickie Fowler 70 72; 143 Cameron Smith (Aus) 71 72, Jon Rahm (Spa) 75 68, Matt Kuchar 68 75, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 73; 144 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 73 71, Zach Johnson 70 74, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 72 72, Jimmy Walker 73 71, Adam Hadwin (Can) 69 75; 145 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 71 74, Vijay Singh (Fij) 71 74, Haotong Li (Chn) 69 76, Russell Henley 73 72, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 69 76; 146 Jason Day (Aus) 75 71, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 72 74, Kyle Stanley 72 74, Branden Grace (Rsa) 73 73, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 77 69, Ryan Moore 74 72, Fred Couples 72 74; 147 Daniel Berger 73 74, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 74 73, Brian Harman 73 74, Kevin Kisner 72 75, Chez Reavie 76 71; 148 Bernhard Langer (Ger) 74 74, Tiger Woods 73 75, Adam Scott (Aus) 75 73, Bryson DeChambeau 74 74, Doug Ghim (a) 72 76, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 75 73; 149 Xander Schauffele 71 78, Webb Simpson 76 73, Phil Mickelson 70 79, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 79 70, Ian Poulter (Eng) 74 75, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 74 75, Paul Casey (Eng) 74 75, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 75 74.

The following players did not make the cut: 150 Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa) 74 76, Jason Dufner 73 77, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 72 78, Sandy Lyle (Sco) 74 76; 151 Brendan Steele 76 75, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 77 74, Daniel Willett (Eng) 75 76, Ted Potter, Jr. 73 78, Patrick Cantlay 75 76, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 77 74, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 73 78; 152 Pat Perez 73 79, Wesley Bryan 74 78, Ross Fisher (Eng) 78 74, Patton Kizzire 76 76; 153 Doc Redman (a) 76 77, Alex Noren (Swe) 74 79, Joaquin Niemann (a) (Chi) 76 77, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 78 75, Yuta Ikeda (Jpn) 76 77, Kevin Chappell 77 76; 154 Austin Cook 74 80, Gary Woodland 78 76, Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 77 77; 155 Mike Weir (Can) 76 79, Ian Woosnam (Wal) 79 76, Billy Horschel 76 79; 156 Larry Mize 76 80; 159 Mark O’Meara 78 81, Yuxin Lin (a) (Chn) 79 80, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 81 78, Angel Cabrera (Arg) 76 83; 160 Matt Parziale (a) 81 79; 166 Harry Ellis (a) (Eng) 86 80.