JASON Day has set the second round of the 2011 US Masters alight with a sizzling eight under 64 to put him just two short of current leader Rory McIlroy, who sits on 10-under for the tournament.
The 23 year old Australian fired three birdies on the front and five on the back to be just one shy of the course record. He had the best ever second round by a debutante.
Twenty one year old McIlroy had a 69 to go with his first round 65 and became the youngest leader after two rounds since Tiger Woods in 1997. Perhaps as an encouraging omen for the young Northern Irishman, Woods went on to take his first of a series of green jackets that year.
Geoff Ogilvy hit his second successive 69 to be at 6-under, tied with big hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros just four behind McIlroy.
Perhaps the other big storyline was Woods, who hit a 66 to be 7-under tied with K.J. Choy.
In days of yore that would have been just Woods changing from second to third year in anticipation of getting it into top somewhere on the weekend and streeting the field.
But it remains to be seen if the round was just a flash in the pan, as he has done for one round on occasions in recent times, or a big shift in his momentum back to the top. Even though he has currently slipped to be ranked 7th in the world a win here would put him back at No.1, a position Phil Mickelson is unlikely to occupy come Monday unless there is a huge shift in his fortunes.
Fifty one year old Fred Couples was another big improver today with a 68 moving him up to 5-under. He is tied for 7th along with Rickie Fowler (69), Ricky Barnes ( 71) and Y E Yang (72).
Adam Scott carded a 70 to be at 2-under while Aaron Baddeley just scraped into the weekend on the cut line of plus one. Robert Allenby just missed out with a bogey on the last and Stuart Appleby finished 3 over.
At Couples’ end of the age range people are starting to look forward to being able to shoot their age.
Today the young guns playing together, McIlroy, Day and Barnes (aged 22) combined to shoot their mean age under handcap.
McIlroy and Day will now play in the final group in the third round – telecast live in Australia from 5.30 Sunday morning (AEST). An event not to be missed.