Date: April 08, 2017
Author: Martin Blake

MASTERS: Scott roars into contention

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Adam Scott roared back into contention at the 2017 Masters with a brilliant 69 at Augusta National today.

Scott, the 2013 winner, benefited from the troubles of first-round leader Charley Hoffman, who gave three shots back in round two, leaving Scott just four shots from the leaders through 36 holes at even-par.

Hoffman, Spain's Sergio Garcia, American Rickie Fowler and Belgium's Thomas Pieters are the co-leaders at four-under par, with Fowler recording the day's low round of 67.

A birdie from three metres at the par-four 18th hole was a nice note to take into the weekend for Scott, who had opened with a 75.

He had six birdies for the day, went out in 32 and had just one major issue, at the par-four 11th where he took double bogey six. Driving into the trees down the right, the Queenslander had to lay up, then compounded his issues with a three-putt from eight metres.

But he bounced back with a nice tee shot at the par-three 12th hole for a birdie, and hit it close on the par-five 15th for another.

 Jason Day was showing signs of rust today, finishing six-over through two rounds and barely making the cut. Day made a double bogey at the 11th, the beginning of Amen Corner, hitting his approach into the water for the second day in a row, having made a little run early in the round with birdies at the second and third holes. He ended up carding a 76 and is virtually out of contention.

It is Scott who is making the running. "I played amazing today,'' he told Fox Sports after his round. "I would never say 'I left it all out there', but I left it out there today. From the positions I was in, it wasn't a stretch to imagine shooting seven-under on the front. I missed a lot of putts inside 10 feet today, and I guess it's easier to accept on a day when it's so tough. At least I made some, and all the birdies outweighed the mistakes and I'm back in good shape for the weekend.''

Scott said it was always likely the field would compact on day two, after Charley Hoffman's amazing 65 in the first round. "If was going to be tough for him (Hoffman) to back that up and I knew if I could play and execute the way I did yesterday and just tighten up a bit, I could get back in this thing. And all of a sudden, 10 shots is now four.''

 Marc Leishman (74 today) is at three-over par and seven shots from the leaders, needing a low one tomorrow. "It's just nice to be playing the weekend again here,'' he told Fox Sports. "It's been a while. Anything can happen, you know, so shoot a low one tomorrow and see how we go for Sunday.''

 Amateur Curtis Luck is making the most of his first Masters appearance, shooting a fine 72 today to make the cut at six-over par. Luck, 20, is one of two amateurs to make the cut and will spend the weekend trying to be the low amateur with American Stewart Hagestad, who is three shots ahead of him.

 Rod Pampling missed the cut in his first appearance at Augusta in 10 years, carding a 78 to go with his opening 74.