7 Apr 2012

Dufner and Couples lead Masters

12:21 pm on 7 April 2012

American's Jason Dufner and Fred Couples share the lead after 2 rounds of the US Masters golf tournament at Augusta, while Rory McIlroy moved in for the kill and Tiger Woods was left kicking his club in frustration.

52-year-old Couples, winner there 20 years ago, is the complete outsider.... he and Dufner have a 1 shot lead over a group of players that include McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood.

McIlroy, the world number two and U.S. Open champion, shot a composed two-under-par 69, but the man he was presumed to be duelling with at Augusta - four-times Masters winner Woods - came close to imploding.

After opening with birdies on two of his first three holes, Woods had five bogeys the rest of the way and posted a three-over 75 that left him eight shots back of the leaders and three shots from missing the cut.

Couples mixed seven birdies with two bogeys for a five-under-par 67, matching the second round score he shot at Augusta National in 1992 when he won the Masters.

Dufner has recently made a habit of getting into the lead in the first half of tournaments only to fade at weekends but he will be looking to go one better than at last year's PGA Championship where he lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley.

South African Charl Schwartzel, who won last year's Masters title by two shots when he became the first champion to birdie the last four holes, was eight shots back after a three-over 75.

Among those missing the cut were nine former Masters champions and reigning British Open champion Darren Clarke.

Australian Jason Day, joint runner-up last year, withdrew from the event with an ankle injury after seven holes of his second round.