With rain and chilly temperatures in the weekend forecast, Friday's tropical air seemed to provide an opportune time for the field at The Masters to take advantage of Augusta National.
For those with early tee times, it didn't happen.
In fact, a tricky wind continued to tighten the leaderboard through the early afternoon as Jordan Spieth opened with a pair of rough holes, and others like Matt Kuchar and Rory McIlroy slipped slightly, but stayed near the top of the scoresheet.
With the afternoon, however, came a reprieve from the wind. Patrick Reed and Marc Leishman pounced on the improved conditions, putting on a display of marksmanship through the dinner hour.
Here's a link to the entire leaderboard.
And here are a few storylines we're still watching:
1. Spieth came back to the pack
The worst thing that happened to Jordan Spieth was nightfall on Thursday.
After he got red-hot on the back nine through the first round, Spieth went 3-over on the first two holes of Friday's action. He pushed his opening drive right, then hit a second shot from the dirt that dribbled shy of the fairway. Watch the whole debacle right here.
He added another bogey on the second hole, and yet another on No. 7.
But Spieth came back strong with a 34 on the back nine to finish the day at 4-under-par.
"I just hit two really bad tee shots to start the day. I just didn't really have many good birdie looks," Spieth said. "I'm still in this golf tournament."
What was Spieth saying to himself on the third tee box?
"This is an easy tee shot, you can't screw this one up," Spieth said.
2. Reed gets it going; Leishman uses huge shot on No. 15
As the winds died down, Patrick Reed scorched his way to the lead, stringing together four straight birdies, beginning on No. 7. Reed became the first player with local ties to have at least a share of the lead since Vaughn Taylor in 2007.
Reed helped Augusta State win consecutive NCAA Division I golf titles, but he'd never broken 70 at The Masters prior to this week.
He followed Thursday's 69 with a 70 in Friday to move to 9-under-par, with a two-stroke lead. Reed was the second straight Texan to lead at day's end, taking over for Spieth, who led after the opening round. David Westin of the Augusta Chronicle talks more about Reed's round here.
Meanwhile, Leishman was playing a steady round, but then behind a huge second shot — arguably the shot of the day — the Aussie posted an eagle on No. 15.
"You have to take your chances when you get 'em," Leishman said of his shot into the green. "Where I hit my drive on 15 was not ideal, but I practice that shot every week. I thought it was a good time to give it a go."
Here's more on the leaders (and full second-round coverage) from David Lee of the Augusta Chronicle.
3. Tiger struggles; Rory looks hungry and healthy
As with others who were fighting the wind, Tiger Woods got off to a slow start on Friday, dropping a shot on the first hole.
Woods finished at 3-over-par for the day and is 4-over for the tournament, but he did make the cut. Barely.
Here's a slideshow of Tiger's day.
But Rory McIlroy looked surprisingly at ease in the tough conditions, using birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 to finish with a solid 71.
McIlroy said he feels more comfortable as a veteran, and rarely forces the issue like he did as a younger player. Here's a column from Scott Michaux of the Augusta Chronicle, explaining how McIlroy is finding inner peace.
"Golf is a game of making your misses not that bad and taking advantage of your good shots," McIlroy said. "So far I've been able to do that."
Here's a full slideshow of the day's action.
4. Beginning of Amen Corner is anything but peaceful
It takes a slight fade to hit the fairway, then a solid iron that flirts with a pond running along the left side of the green.
Oh, and it's just 505 yards in four strokes.
Sound fun? Then you'll love White Dogwood, the opening to Amen Corner, long considered one of the most beautiful, but dangerous stretches in golf.
The hole continues to play tough on Friday and Augusta Chronicle Sports Editor John Boyette explains in this piece what makes the hole such a pain in players' sides.
5. Westin reflects on 40 years of covering the tournament
For a newbie like myself, I can tell you the media members like to talk about two things — the food they consume here, and the veteran writers who have been associated with the event seemingly forever.
David Westin fits the second bill, as he was honored this week for covering The Masters for 40 years.
This is a great piece in the Augusta Chronicle that Westin penned about some of his traditions.
What impresses me most? He gets his own parking spot, complete with nameplate.
BONUS: Watching the weather
The weather could get dicey for Saturday's third round, as rain is expected and there's a even a chance of a thunderstorm. Forecasts don't have the wet weather hovering over Augusta, but Spieth said the rain could change things.
He likes his chances if there is a soft rain.
"If there's a delay, it will certainly soften up the course. And the one thing that this place, you've kind of got to look out for because the fairways are all mowed into the grain, everything is mowed into the grain, is you will see some mud balls over the next two days. Maybe not while it's raining tomorrow, but on Sunday," Spieth said.
"So you kind of have to be aware. There's nothing you can do about it. You've just got to be aware, and obviously it becomes a tactical golf course when the conditions get tougher or you're presented with kind of tough breaks like that, and I think that's an advantage for me. I feel like I tactically play this golf course very well."
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