April 22, 2019
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Five players share Masters lead as Tiger remains in the hunt

Augusta, USA, Apr 12 (efe-epa).- Five players of four nationalities were at the end of Friday sharing the lead with seven under par at the Augusta Masters Tournament, the first major championship of the season.

"Everything pretty much worked today. Yesterday I had some difficulty with the long game. I have virtually not been out of position and I hope to repeat the game tomorrow," Italian Francesco Molinari, one of the top five and who could pocket another major after winning the British Open last year, told EFE on day two.

Molinari, Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott, American Brooks Koepka and South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen are one stroke ahead of South African Justin Harding (-6) and Dustin Johnson (-6), Xander Schauffele (-6) and Tiger Woods (-6) of the United States.

Woods is seeking his fifth major title this week and promises to chase down the leaders in Round 3 on Saturday.

“(I) felt like I played my way back into the tournament. I was very patient today, felt very good to be out there doing what I was doing. This is now three straight majors I’ve been in the mix, so it’s good stuff,” Woods said.

Koepka, winner of the US Open 2017 and 2018 and the 2018 PGA Championship, was also playing it steady.

“You can't win it on Friday. So there's no point in getting too excited on a Friday and wasting your energy or whatever it might be. You’ve still got a lot of golf to play. So you’ve just got to hang in there," he said.

In fact, 65 out of 87 players made the cut for the weekend at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, and there are 11 players within two strokes of each other.

"I wasn't trying to take anything on too drastically with regards to being too aggressive out there and it just kind of, I had momentum on my side. Just kind of built and built and built," said Day, who did not expect to be sharing the lead after starting the day with severe back pain.

A total of 22 players did not qualify for the weekend, including several winners of earlier editions of the Masters, such as Briton Danny Willett (2006), Spaniard Sergio Garcia (2017) and world no.1 and favorite Justin Rose of England.

"It is what it is. You have to move forward to next year," said a disappointed Garcia, who won the Masters in 2017.

jlg/pd/tw

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