Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Masters: Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke make cut but Graeme McDowell out as Bubba Watson leads

Bubba Watson surged away from the rest of the field at Augusta (AP)
Bubba Watson surged away from the rest of the field at Augusta (AP)

American Bubba Watson held on to his US Masters lead late last night as Ulster's trio of Major winners struggled.

Rory McIlroy wilted in the heat at Augusta yesterday as his hopes of winning The Masters took a serious battering and he just made the cut with his final putt for a four-over 77 for the tournament. Darren Clarke earlier made the cut for today's third round but Graeme McDowell is out.

World number nine McIlroy struggled on the greens and shot a five over par second round, leaving him four over for the tournament and well down the leaderboard as Watson leads the charge on seven under.

Graeme McDowell's Masters adventure is over after the Portrush man shot six over par after starting the day on level par. The new slimline Darren Clarke was two over for his round again, four over for the tournament.

Watson stressed his desire to claim a second Masters title in three years.

"This year I'm trying to get the green jacket back," said Watson, who had five birdies in a row from the 12th before a bogey on the 18th, only his second dropped shot of the week. "You want that feeling again, you want that back."

Watson carded a second-round 68 in testing conditions to leave him three shots ahead of Australian John Senden with Europeans Thomas Bjorn and Jonas Blixt on three under. Defending champion Adam Scott is also on three under.

But what a sweat it was for Rory!

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