Australians John Senden and Adam Scott remain well placed at the halfway point of the Masters.
Adam Scott and John Senden are well placed to keep the green jacket in Australian hands halfway through the Masters at Augusta National.
While 2012 champion Bubba Watson took control of the tournament with a four-under 68 moving the American to seven-under-par, the Australian duo is hot on his heels.
Senden matched Watson’s low round of the day to rocket from 20th into second spot outright, catapulting him into the final group for the third round.
Defending champion Scott rebounded from a tough opening six holes where he carded three bogeys to post an even par round of 72, leaving him tied third at three-under.
Boom young American Jordan Spieth, Danish veteran Thomas Bjorn and Swedish upstart Jonas Blixt share third with Scott.
While Watson has a healthy break he has only converted one of eight times in his career when leading after 36 holes.
Senden started poorly with bogeys on two of his opening four holes before going on a tear, carding six birdies over his final 14.
“I was feeling pretty good out there. I was reasonably relaxed and just playing shots and I was able to keep the momentum going my way,” Senden said.
“I think this golf course is more about having the confidence to take the shots, but also about accepting it, as well.
“You have to be smart if you’re not in position, because the secret of this course, I think, is while obviously there’s plenty of opportunities with birdies, it’s more likely important keeping the big numbers off the card.
“Big numbers kind of put you straight out of contention but if you avoid that you have a chance.”
Scott’s chance at a green jacket was slipping away early before, just like 12 months ago, he patiently wrestled himself back into contention.
In 2013’s second round Scott bogeyed the third, fourth and fifth holes with the only difference a year on swapping the first for the third.
“It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but given everything, I’m absolutely satisfied with that,” Scott said of his round.
“It just means tomorrow’s round is extremely important for me. It’s going to have to be maybe the best round of the week.”
Earlier, Marc Leishman produced one of the all-time Masters meltdowns, birdying the opening three holes to take the outright lead before playing the final 15 in 10-over par for a 79.
The Victorian carded two doubles and six bogeys in a horror stretch of 12 holes and missed the cut by a shot.
It was better news for Steven Bowditch, a Masters rookie, who is hanging tough at two-over for the week after a 72, leaving him set for the weekend in a tie for 26th.
Oliver Goss, just 19-years-old, fired an impressive one-under 71 to be three-over for the tournament and the Australian will be crowned low amateur on Sunday after being the only one of six to make the cut.
He will celebrate his 20th birthday on Saturday with another round at Augusta National and come Sunday will officially be Australia’s first Silver Cup winner.
World No.4 Jason Day made the weekend on the number after a 73 left him at four-over.
Matt Jones will be left to walk the grounds as a patron over the weekend after his 78 left him eight-over on his Masters debut.