The 2017 Masters has all the storylines heading into the weekend

England's Lee Westwood and Spain's Sergio Garcia, two epic almost men of golf still seeking their first major title, withstood blustery conditions Thursday to become early title contenders at the Masters.

American William McGirt (73) is fifth at two-under, while Olympic gold medallist Justin Rose shares sixth with young Spanish star Jon Rahm (70), Ryan Moore (69) and 1992 green jacket victor Fred Couples (70) at one-under.

Jordan Spieth reacts to a missed putt on the 15th hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 7, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. "Unfortunately at the moment, unless I get really lucky I can't really play much better than I played this week".

But after sparring with Augusta for the first two rounds of the Masters, Leishman is hoping to land a leaderboard haymaker on day three. He bounced back from a bogey behind the 13th green by firing a 3-iron across the water and into the wind to the 15th green for a two-putt birdie. I didn't make any real mental errors. After bogeying four, Spieth either shot par or birdied the hole to creep back up to striking distance of the Masters leaders.

There's the rebel. Sergio Garcia, labeled the best player on the Tour never to have won a major, whose six birdies and three bogeys put him at 4-under. Hoffman was happy to walk off the course with a share of first.

Rory McIlroy - The Masters is the lone major Rory has yet to win.

"I'll definitely try to make more birdies (on Saturday) as the conditions are supposed to be more benign", said Leishman.

It's a sentiment shared by most of the top 20 after the first two rounds here. Rose was part of a five-man tie for first place on opening day and can still contend for his first green jacket and second overall major win. Aaron went on to claim his only green jacket.

Phil Mickelson, who at one time was tied for the lead at three under, struggled and fell back to one under. "I feel like my age is still OK, because I can drive it far enough".

Couples will be paired today with 22-year-old Spaniard Jon Rahm in the fourth-to-last group. The quadruple-bogey led to a 78 that kept him from returning for the weekend by a single stroke.

Bungalow rentals for the 2018 Masters after world number one Dustin Johnson was forced to withdraw before the start of his first round due to a back injury suffered when slipping on some stairs in his rented accommodation.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson had a awful 78 today and, at 8-over par, left himself on the wrong side of the cut line at Augusta National.

Three late bogeys curbed the rally of two-time Green Jacket victor Phil Mickelson, who carded a 73 and is just four behind the lead quartet. The 25-year-old from Belgium doesn't appear to be scared.

On another wind-whipped day at Augusta National Golf Club, the gap that existed after Hoffman's opening 65 narrowed like a London street on Friday when only nine players finished under par.

  • Julie Sanders