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Golf: Bubba in command after Masters birdie binge

Bubba Watson, who needed 22 months to win again after a 2012 Masters triumph, birdied five holes in a row on the back nine Friday to seize command of the 78th Masters. The 35-year-old American fired a four-under par 68 Friday to stand on seven-under 137 and grab a three-shot lead over Bill Haas in the second round at Augusta National. There has never been a longer birdie run before the weekend than Watson's streak in Masters history and only five longer ones at any stage in tournament history.

Golf: Scott, McIlroy launch late charge at Masters

Defending Masters champion Adam Scott and two-time major winner Rory McIlroy teed off Friday at Augusta National chasing Bubba Watson, who fired three birdies in a row to seize command. Watson, the 2012 Masters champion, topped the leaderboard at six under. He birdied the seventh but took his first bogey of the tournament at the ninth, then torched Amen Corner for birdies at the par-3 12th and par-5 13th and added another at 14 to move two shots clear.

Golf: Bubba goes four clear at Masters

Bubba Watson ripped off five birdies in a row from the 12th hole to take a four-shot lead in the second round of the Masters at Augusta National on Friday. The 2012 winner, who stood on eight under with two holes to play, started the day one back of Bill Haas, who led overnight with a 68. He reached the turn in level-par 36, but went on a roll from the par-3 12th in the heart of the feared Amen Corner. Closest to him, four back, was late-starter Haas, who bogeyed the first but got that shot back at the second.

Golf: Oosthuizen takes lead in Masters

Louis Oosthuizen eagled the 13th hole at Augusta National on Friday to take a share of the lead at four under in the second round of the Masters. The 2010 British Open champion started the day one off the pace set by Bill Haas, who was not due out untill later in the afternoon. But he fell back with bogeys at four and seven before rebounding with a birdie at eight and the eagle at 13. Level with him on four under were Kevin Stadler through five holes and Jonas Blixt of Sweden after four.

Golf: Bubba leads at Masters

Bubba Watson birdied the seventh hole at Augusta National on Friday to take a share of the lead in the second round of the Masters. The champion two years ago opened with six straight pars before moving level on four under with overnight leader Bill Haas, who was not due out until later in the afternoon. Australian March Leishman briefly held the overall lead at five under after three opening birdies, but back-to-back birdies at four and five pegged him back on another day of clear blue skies and warm sunshine at Augusta National.

Golf: Watson, Blixt make early charge at Masters

Bubba Watson, seeking his second green jacket in three years, and Sweden's Jonas Blixt charged into the hunt in Friday's second round of the Masters. Watson, the 2012 Masters champion from the United States, opened with a 69 and on Friday opened with six pars and a birdie at the seventh to reach four-under. That was the same mark as Bill Haas, who fired a four-under 68 to lead the field of 97 after 18 holes. Haas was among those set to tee off in the final groups of the afternoon.

Golf: Leishman makes early charge at Masters

Australia's Marc Leishman opened with three birdies Friday to seize the early second-round lead at the 78th Masters with major winners Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen in hot pursuit. Leishman, who only qualified for the Masters based on his major career-best fourth place showing last year at Augusta National, opened with a 70 but his sizzling start put him atop the leaderboard at five-under par. The 30-year-old from Warnambool, who is ranked 69th in the world, won his only US PGA title at the 2012 Travelers Championship.

Golf: Leishman rises but falls again at Masters

Australian Marc Leishman briefly grabbed the second round lead in the Masters early Friday, but he just as quickly fell off the pedestal. Having qualified thanks to a fourth-place finish last year, Leishman opened with three straight birdies to get to five under, one better than overnight leader Bill Haas, who was not due out till later in the afternoon. But back-to-back bogeys at four and five pegged him back on another day of clear blue skies and warm sunshine at Augusta Nationsl. Haas was also under attack from a pair of major winners.

Golf: Haas leads, but charge is on at Masters

Overnight leader Bill Haas was under attack from a pair of major winners early on in the second round of the Masters on Friday. The 31-year-old American, who had a four-under 68 to open with, was a late starter, enjoying the luxury of being able to sit back and see who could catch him. The 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen, who was one of three players one stroke back off the lead, dropped one at the tough par-three fourth. Masters champion two years ago Bubba Watson, who also opened with a 69, parred the first to stay at three under.

Golf: Scott and McIlroy off and running at Masters

The annual quest for Masters glory moved into full swing on golf's greatest stage Thursday at Augusta National with favorites Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott going out in back-to-back groupings. Defending champion Scott, who last year became the first Australian to win the Masters, headed out first in the 16th grouping of the day alongside PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner and 19-year-old British amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick.
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