The second round of the 2013 Masters starts Friday morning on an Augusta National course that will be playing dramatically different from the layout on Thursday's opening round. A major storm moved through the Augusta area overnight, dumping plenty of rain and forcing the club to put the subair system to good use. The sirens sounded and patrons were quickly moved off the grounds as soon as the final group finished, but the storms really didn't hit until after midnight.
The course was already soft, and several players, including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, mildly criticized the conditions, saying the greens were slow and too benign. All the overnight rain will only soften things up more, so expect plenty of scores in the 60s again on Friday, starting bright and early in the morning.
And the morning is loaded with superstars from around the world who are on the first page of the leaderboard. Sergio Garcia, the co-leader after the first round, tees off at 9:39 a.m. ET with Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera. While Garcia is tied with Aussie Marc Leishman, it's widely thought that Scott will eventually be the one to break the Aussie curse at Augusta. No one is talking much about Scott, but he's right there at 3-under and in prime position to make a run at his playing partner.
The group immediately following Garcia, at 9:50 a.m., will feature Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson, two Americans who are inside the top 10. Johnson has never played well at Augusta, but on Thursday he shot a personal best 67 to finish 5-under. The long-hitting Coastal Carolina product has more talent than any next generation American star, but he's struggled finish at the majors in his young career. Perhaps playing with Couples, who is as cool as anyone in the field, has put Johnson at ease. Like clockwork, Couples opened his week with a 4-under 68, so the 1992 winner is right there yet again and should make some noise on the weekend.
The two biggest names starting in the morning are Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, who will play in back-to-back groups again on Friday. Mickelson seemed to gather his game on the second nine yesterday, making four birdies in a five-hole stretch before finishing out at 1-under. He'll tee off at 10:23 a.m. alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer. Unlike Phil, Rory lost much of his form coming into the house on Thursday, falling back to even-par with an inward 38. Rory's group will go off at 10:34 a.m.
The afternoon coverage will be dominated by Tiger Woods, who stands at 2-under and may get the tougher conditions later in the day. Tiger tees off at 1:51 p.m. with Scott Piercy and Luke Donald, and unlike Thursday, you'll be able to actually see him play his round on Friday. Augusta Chairman Billy Payne stated on Wednesday that Tiger would be in one of the "Featured Groups" streams for the second round. He'll also probably be less than five holes into the round when ESPN comes on the air at 3 p.m. (it took 40 minutes just to play the first two holes on Thursday). So that's an improvement for golf fans who actually want to watch the most popular player in the most important tournament.
Rickie Fowler will probably be the biggest name to watch playing around Tiger in the afternoon. Fowler somehow got past two double-bogeys on Thursday to finish 2-under. It was looking ugly for Rickie at times, but he walked off feeling good about his number. He'll play in the final group of the day at 1:52 p.m.
Here's the complete tee sheet for Friday at Augusta:
|8 a.m.||John Merrick||Thorbjorn Olesen||D.A. Points|
|8:11 a.m.||Craig Stadler||Ben Curtis||Michael Weaver|
|8:22 a.m.||Mark O'Meara||Martin Laird||Jamie Donaldson|
|8:33 a.m.||Paul Lawrie||Thomas Bjorn||Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano|
|8:44 a.m.||Trevor Immelman||George Coetzee||Alan Dunbar|
|8:55 a.m.||Ernie Els||Steve Stricker||Nick Watney|
|9:06 a.m.||Ben Crenshaw||Matteo Manassero||Tianlang Guan|
|9:17 a.m.||Bernhard Langer||Lucas Glover||Henrik Stenson|
|9:28 a.m.||Vijay Singh||Bo Van Pelt||Y.E. Yang|
|9:39 a.m.||Angel Cabrera||Sergio Garcia||Adam Scott|
|9:50 a.m.||Fred Couples||Dustin Johnson||Branden Grace|
|10:12 a.m.||Hunter Mahan||Hiroyuki Fujita||Francesco Molinari|
|10:23 a.m.||Phil Mickelson||Louis Oosthuizen||Martin Kaymer|
|10:34 a.m.||Rory McIlroy||Keegan Bradley||Fredrik Jacobson|
|10:45 a.m.||Jason Dufner||Matt Kuchar||Bill Haas|
|10:56 a.m.||Sandy Lyle||John Peterson||Nathan Smith|
|11:07 a.m.||Larry Mize||Brian Gay||Russell Henley|
|11:18 a.m.||Ian Woosnam||David Lynn||Kevin Na|
|11:29 a.m.||David Toms||Richard Sterne||Ted Potter Jr.|
|11:40 a.m.||Tom Watson||Ryan Moore||Kevin Streelman|
|11:51 a.m.||Robert Garrigus||Carl Pettersson||Tim Clark|
|12:13 p.m.||Mike Weir||Lee Westwood||Jim Furyk|
|12:24 p.m.||Brandt Snedeker||Ryo Ishikawa||Justin Rose|
|12:35 p.m.||Jose Maria Olazabal||Marc Leishman||T.J. Vogel|
|12:46 p.m.||Charl Schwartzel||Webb Simpson||Peter Hanson|
|12:57 p.m.||Zach Johnson||K.J. Choi||Graeme McDowell|
|1:08 p.m.||Michael Thompson||John Huh||John Senden|
|1:19 p.m.||Stewart Cink||Nicolas Colsaerts||Thaworn Wiratchant|
|1:30 p.m.||Bubba Watson||Ian Poulter||Steven Fox|
|1:41 p.m.||Tiger Woods||Luke Donald||Scott Piercy|
|1:52 p.m.||Jason Day||Rickie Fowler||Padraig Harrington|