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Masters 2020: Dustin Johnson shares four-way clubhouse lead – BBC Sport

Masters 2020: Dustin Johnson shares four-way clubhouse lead – BBC Sport

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson tied for second at the Masters in 2019
-9 J Thomas (US), D Johnson (US), A Ancer (Mex), C Smith (Aus); -8 P Cantlay (US), S Im (Kor); -7 T Fleetwood (Eng), D Willett (Eng), J Rose (Eng)
Selected others: -5 P Mickelson (US), B Koepka (US); -4 R Fowler (US); -3 R McIlroy (NI), B Langer (Ger)
Venue: Augusta National Date: 12-15 November
Coverage: Radio and text commentary online with in-play clips. Daily highlights on BBC Two – full details here

Dustin Johnson is among four players to lead the Masters at nine under par after setting the clubhouse target during a hectic day two at Augusta.

Justin Thomas, Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith sit alongside the world number one as benign conditions saw the early starters enjoy low scores.

Tommy Fleetwood and 2016 champion Danny Willett both hit six-under-par 66s to get to seven under with Justin Rose.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy also shot a 66 as he climbed to three under.

Overnight leader Paul Casey, defending champion Tiger Woods and pre-tournament favourite Bryson DeChambeau are among the late starters who will not finish their rounds with darkness set to fall around 22:30 GMT.

Johnson missed two tournaments in the build-up to Augusta after testing positive for Covid-19, before returning to post a second-place finish in Houston last week.

The 36-year-old is searching for his first Green Jacket and has carried his form into the Masters, finishing off his opening 65 on Friday morning before carding 70 later in the day.

He had threatened to pull away as he led by three on 10 under after four but successive bogeys stalled his progress.

However, the American finished with a birdie at 18 to regain a share of top spot.

The 44 players who did not complete the first round on Thursday, because of delays caused by an electrical storm, faced a quick turnaround before starting their second.

Momentum was with Johnson as he rolled in three successive birdies through Amen Corner, only to bogey the 14th and drop another stroke after finding the water on the par-five 15th.

“I felt like I played really well, hit a lot of good shots and had a lot of looks at birdies, but couldn’t quite get it in the hole,” said Johnson, who was pleased to finish with a birdie on the ninth.

Several challengers to Johnson’s early lead came and went before Mexican Ancer and Australian Smith made their moves.

Thomas was one of those to share top spot earlier in the day after hitting the turn with four successive birdies.

The world number three dropped away with a double bogey at the first after dragging a drive into the pines and then hitting a tree trunk, but produced a strong recovery.

Ancer’s best finish at a major is tied for 16th at last year’s US PGA Championship, but he posted six birdies after an opening bogey to lead on his first Masters appearance.

Smith, who finished joint fifth at Augusta in 2018, produced a rollercoaster round of 68 that included six birdies, an eagle and four bogeys.

Co-leader Johnson was in a group with McIlroy, who endured a torrid final nine on his return this morning but recovered with an impressive bogey-free 66 that included six birdies.

South Korean prospect Sungjae Im also briefly shared the lead with Johnson, and heads into the weekend at eight under par.

One of the potential problems Augusta National faces during this unprecedented staging of an autumn Masters is daylight, with no leeway for play to continue late into the evening.

The opening two days have seen a two-tee start, from the first and 10th, to allow for the shorter days after the tournament was moved from its usual April slot because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But a delay on the opening day means Friday’s late starters will not finish before the light fades in Georgia and will return to complete their second rounds on Saturday.

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