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Round 2 plays easier than Round 1 at Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – So much for the Masters script.

Most players will tell you that officials at Augusta National have a predictable modus operandi when it comes to the golf course set up for the Masters – Day 1 is normally “gettable,” followed by two rounds of increasingly difficult conditions before Sunday’s low-scoring sprint to the finish.

That script, however, seems to have been flipped this year.

The course played a half stroke easier on Friday (72.784) than it did on Thursday (73.423), despite what many players considered were more difficult hole locations on Day 2.

The par-3 fourth played the hardest in Round 2 (3.443 average) with just a single birdie on Friday, followed by the par-4 11th hole (4.412).

The par-5 13th hole was the easiest on Friday (4.526), but that was all part of a scoring assault on Augusta National’s par 5s.

Dustin Johnson became the first player to record three eagles (Nos. 2, 8 and 15) in a single round. There were 17 eagles on Friday.

Augusta National’s four par 5s played to a collective average of 4.605.

The closing nine lived up to its reputation as the easier of the two loops, playing just under par (35.969) while the front-nine average was 36.814.

That average included a front-nine 40 from world No. 1 Rory McIlroy. It marks the fifth consecutive year the Northern Irishman recorded a nine in the 40s at the Masters.