Round 2: Green jackets brace for more red numbers at Masters

Dustin Johnson watches his bunker shot on the second hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By JIM LITKE
It’s peak 2020 that even the Masters is being forced to slow-walk the results. According to the schedule, we’ve reached the halfway point of the tournament … except roughly half the field has yet to arrive.

So pay close attention. Here’s what we know so far:

There have already been plenty of spills (looking at you, Bryson DeChambeau), but the thrills (Tiger Woods still in the hunt) may just be beginning. Based on the soft conditions over the first two days and the completed scorecards turned in, this championship is on pace to smash some records.

The strong play was evident at the top of the leaderboard, where no less than four players — established stars Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, plus lesser-knowns Cameron Smith and Abraham Ancer — shared the lead at 9 under. But the battles for the prime slots below are every bit as competitive.

There were another four golfers at 8 under, including two, Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm, who will finish up Round 2 on Saturday morning with more than enough holes to steal the lead. And talk about traffic: There’s another five golfers at 7-under, three of whom also have a shot at the top slot by the time everyone in the field tees off for Round 3 today.

As if that wasn’t excitement enough, in addition to the 44-year-old Woods (4 under, with nine holes to finish), fellow aging titan Phil Mickelson (5 under) is also in the mix.

“I’m driving like a stallion,” said Mickelson, a three-time champion making his first go-round at Augusta National since turning 50 in June. “I’m going to make a run.”

If so, Lefty won’t be the only one.

The green jackets who run the Masters knew moving the tournament from April to November meant ceding some control. For one, thing, they were losing three h