Victorian Marc Leishman’s strong second round has propelled him up the leaders’ board. (ABC News: Chris Carlson)
Marc Leishman has charged up the leaderboard to keep pace with a red-hot Patrick Reed in the second round at the Masters.
With Reed threatening to run away from the field on day two at Augusta, Leishman did his best to reel in the American with a five-under-par 67 on Friday.
The 34-year-old Australian sits at seven-under-par and two shots behind Reed, who rattled off nine birdies and three bogeys in his 66 which elevated him to nine under.
The pair emerged from the pack on an eventful day two, with 2016 British Open winner Henrik Stenson (70) third at five under.
Overnight leader Jordan Spieth suffered an early collapse but steadied the ship on the back nine to card a 74 to remain in the hunt at four under; the 2015 Masters winner sharing fourth with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy (71).
Patrick Reed’s blazing second round has put him two shots clear at the top of the Masters leaderboard. (AP: Charlie Riedel)
World number one Dustin Johnson (68) and number two Justin Thomas (67) share sixth at three under.
Leishman put it all on the line at the par-5 15th hole when he hit the shot of the day.
From the fairway, Leishman nailed a slinging draw around the pine trees from 201 metres with a 5-iron and his ball settled 180 centimetres from the hole.
He drained the putt for eagle to lock up a place with Reed in Saturday’s (local time) final group.
Cameron Smith was next best of the Australians, leaving himself well placed at one under after a solid even-par 72, while fellow Queenslander Jason Day battled his way back with a 71 to sit at two over.
Leishman’s playing partner Tiger Woods avoided his first missed cut as a professional at the Masters despite struggling to a 75.
Woods finished at four over, sneaking one shot inside the 36-hole cut line and was joined by 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott (73).