After a rainy night in Georgia, Spain’s Jon Rahm returned to a wet and windy Augusta National and narrowed overnight leader Brooks Koepka’s advantage to two strokes.
Rahm, one of the 39 players who had to complete their delayed second rounds on Saturday, had been within a shot of Koepka before bogeying the final hole.
Five-times Masters winner Tiger Woods managed to battle through the wet and windy conditions to make the cut at three-over par 147 after shooting 73 but Rory McIlroy was among the big names to miss out on the final two rounds.
South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel also just made the cut on three over, while Louis Oosthuizen withdrew due to injury with a hole still to play in his second round. He was on seven over at the time and would have missed the last two rounds anyway.
The other South African in the field, 18-year-old amateur Aldrich Potgieter, ended on seven over.
Rahm had an eventful session back on course, making birdies on the par-three 12th and par-five 15th before, in driving rain, he bogeyed by three-putting the par-three 16th.
But the world No 3 quickly made amends on the par-four 17th, where he rolled in a six-foot putt from the fringe for birdie.
The lead is reduced to one stroke. Rahm birdies No. 17 to reach 11 under par. #themasters pic.twitter.com/mLWKtTMLYN
— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 8, 2023
Three-putting the final hole, however, left Rahm on 10-under 134 overall after shooting rounds of 65 and 69 as he targets a second Major win to follow his 2021 triumph at the US Open.
Friday’s play had been cut short after stormy weather descended on Augusta National, with three of the course’s trademark tall pine trees blowing over.
Organisers said that no spectators had been injured by the falling trees and while there was wind and the rain continued to fall on Saturday, there was no sign of thunder or lightning, which would halt play.
WATCH: Tree nearly falls on Masters crowd
Temperatures have dropped sharply in the area, falling from 30.5°C in the bright sunshine of the opening round to 10°C for those who had to come back out to complete their rounds.
The rain, which continued during the night, had further softened an already damp Augusta course, slowing down the usually rapid greens.
Four-time Major winner Koepka, who plays on the breakaway LIV Golf series, is the man to catch after an outstanding opening two rounds.
At 118th in the world, Koepka would be the lowest-ranked player to win The Masters since the rankings system was introduced in 1986.
The current holder of that distinction is Angel Cabrera of Argentina, who was ranked 69th when he won the green jacket in 2009.
McIlroy shot a five over-par 77 with seven bogeys on Friday, leaving him 17 strokes behind pace-setter Koepka and condemned to his second missed Masters cut in three years.
Sandy Lyle, the first British player to win The Masters in 1988, had been forced to leave the course on Friday while on the 18th green in his last Masters.
The Scotsman returned to putt out his round in 83 after his opening round 81 and received an emotional farewell from spectators who had flocked to the green.