Rose extends romance with Augusta with Rahm on par and Sergio out

The Englishman suffered on the second round, but remains the leader (-7) after signing the pair. The Castellón did not make the cut, Rahm is 21st and Olazábal is with +2.


“It reminds me of the 90s. Hard greens and a fast golf course where you need to have a great touch and you also have to think when hitting your second shots. If you fail in the short game you are practically dead, but I think that is the way the Masters should be ", instructs teacher Chema Olazábal, double winner in Augusta, who finished the second day with -1 (+2 total) and classified for the end of week into his 32nd appearance. The Masters has regained its essence, which makes the wonderful Georgia field hell for the player who faces it. "I feel like I just stepped into the ring with Tyson, it was a brutal fight." says American Gary Woodland.

In the edition played in November, nine players made 67 strokes or less on the opening day, in the 85th only Justin Rose was clearly the winner of the stake by signing 65, 7 below par, and being the first leader with 4 strokes of advantage . Yet even for the 40-year-old Englishman, born in South Africa and the only living Olympic gold medalist, it was not all smooth sailing for him. On the 8th hole he had +2 on his locker. "I knew it was not the end of the world, but also that it was going in the wrong direction. You can't win the Masters on the first day, but you can lose it on any of the four," he explains. He did it with an eagle at 8 and birdies at 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17.

"I think keeping expectations relatively low even in this situation is a good thing," says Rose who in 2017 saw Sergio Garcia snatch glory from Augusta's playoff (he was second in 2015 as well). The 2013 US Open champion knew well what he was talking about. Augusta is a field whose idylls are like spring, ephemeral, and all the weapons must be drawn for the infatuation to continue. On the second round he had to suffer much more, but he held on with strength and patience to sign 72 shots (par) after three birdies in the final part (13, 14 and 16) and retain a privileged place in the general with -7 , although from behind he is already very close to Jordan Spieth, Will Zalatoris, Hideki Matsuyama, Brian Harman, Marc Leishman, Justin Thomas, Si Woo Kim, Cameron Champ or Tony Finau.

And the Spanish? Two made the cut albeit a long way from Rose. Bright and remarkable Olazábal passing the cut with solvency and for the first time since 2014 at 55 years old, and Jon Rahm's dull regularity, also including some strange failure such as the ball overboard at 15, which he will have to adjust and hit much more with the putt in the final two rounds to try to get closer to the privileged positions from the par on the field. For his part, Sergio García was left out after committing too many mistakes that weighed down any option to play during the weekend. He finished the day at par, but +4 in total, one stroke away from having earned being on the starting tee on Saturday. Also very remarkable was the unexpected goodbye of the current champion and world number one, Dustin Johnson, who will also see the final two rounds on television by signing a +5 (+3 on the second day) in the 36 holes.THIS IS THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE MASTERS

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