Couples co-leads; McIlroy one back


Twenty years after winning his first green jacket, 52-year-old Fred Couples shares the lead at the halfway mark of the Masters. 

Couples shot 5-under 67 on Friday to share the lead with PGA Championship runner-up Jason Dufner with a total of 139 through two rounds. Birdies at Nos. 15 and 16 brought Couples into a share of the lead. 

Dufner shot 2-under 70, making a bogey at the last which would have given him the outright lead.

The pair lead by a shot over Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson. 

First-round leader Westwood made double bogey at the par-4 finishing hole, leaving him behind the pace after shooting 73. 

A bogey at the 17th for McIlroy kept him out of a share of the lead. Oosthuizen overcame a 3-over start to finish even on the day.

Paul Lawrie, Matt Kuchar and Miguel Angel Jimenez are tied for eighth, two back of the co-leaders.

Three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson shot 68 to go from 2 over on Thursday to 2 under in time for the weekend. He birdied the 18th hole for the second consecutive day to cap his round.

Tiger Woods struggled again off the tee on Friday, often hooking his ball left. Seemingly losing control of his game in the waning holes, Woods shot 3-over 75 to fall eight shots behind the lead. 

Woods has failed to take advantage of the four par-5 holes at Augusta National, playing them in a combined 1 under through two rounds. The 14-time major winner took an unplayable lie at the par-5 13th when his ball embedded in the banking of the greenside creek - his third such penalty shot this week.

Defending champion Charl Schwartzel is also eight back of Couples and Dufner.

World No. 1 Luke Donald flirted with the cut line of 5 over through the middle third of his round, but will make the weekend at 4 over.

Three of six amateurs will make the weekend. Kelly Kraft made a slick putt for bogey at the last to make the cut on the number along with Patrick Cantlay. Two-time Asian Amateur winner Hideki Matsuyama is six back of the co-leaders, becoming the first amateur to make the cut in consecutive years since Matt Kuchar.