ROUND TWO LEADERBOARD:-10 McIlroy
-7 Choi, Woods
-6 Ogilvy, Quiros
-5 Yang, Barnes, Couples, Fowler, Westwood
-4 Schwartzel, Donald, Furyk, Fisher, Snedeker, Garcia
We'll call that a wrap shall we? That was some day of golf. Really enjoyed it. Here's to more of the same tomorrow. McIlroy leading, a debutant in Jason Day in second after a sparkling second round, Tiger Woods on the prowl, with the likes of Westwood, Couples and Donald all in with a shout. Don't miss moving day. It should be pretty special. Thanks for your company as always, and thanks for the messages, even the uncomplimentary ones. Keep an eye on the golf page for all of today's reaction as well as details of tee times for Saturday. The lovely Pranav Soneji will kick things off and I'll be back in the afternoon sometime. You lucky things. See you.
Sergio Garcia completes a round of 71 for -4 and tied for 12th place. Great to see the Spaniard up there. Robert Karlsson is in there on -2 after missing a decent birdie chance at the last. The leaderboard has a very international flavour to it. Can a Euro end the wait for a Green Jacket?
The last group are coming up the last now. Garcia, Karlsson and Atwal. Garcia misses a birdie putt and settles for a par - he's four under. Karlsson misses a tiddler for birdie. Shame because his approach was superb. He's two under.
Tiger Woods (-7):
"I kept staying patient. I was trying to get under par at the turn and piece together a good back nine and I got a bit hot. [The par save at] 11 was huge. It was a big putt to make. I'm right where I need to be. I closed the gap to three and hopefully I can piece together another good round tomorrow."
Lee Westwood (-5):
"I feel like I've got it under control, I just need to be a bit more consistent and I can shoot a low score. I had a five-shot lead going down 11 last year, so I know how quickly a lead can evaporate. My record shows that I've got the hang of Majors over the last few years."
PJHamill on Twitter:
"Tiger Woods' lowest round at the Masters since 2005. What happened that year? Oh yeah he won."
Shaun in Preston via text:
"Westwood, Rose and Donald my bets but wouldn't Tiger winning be great."
What an end to the day. Tiger dribbles his birdie putt into the hole. I don't care what anyone says, that was a superb round of golf. Seven birdies in the final 11 holes. Welcome back son. A 66 places Woods on seven under. Tomorrow is going to be a fantastic day. I can sense it. McDowell is on his way home as he ends a disappointing couple of days with a par to close on three over.
Martin Kaymer closes with a birdie at 18 but that'll be little consolation to the world numero uno as he finishes on +6. Level par for the day but he pays for yesterday's 78. Fellow Euro Robert Karlsson should be OK for the weekend, on -2 with two to play. Ernie Els of South Africa should just squeeze in after a round of 70 leaves him at +1, just inside the cut mark at present.
Someone on the texts has just accused me of drooling over Woods again. Can't help it Anon, he's playing very well. That's all. If he wasn't in the hunt he wouldn't be getting anywhere these number of mentions. Anyway, Tiger fires in an approach from the rough and it's pin high. That's a very good shot - 10 foot left. Ish. Slapped wrist, I'm doing it again. McDowell in the crowd on the left of the green. He knows the game is up now.
pauledorjnr on Twitter:
"If you think Tiger's aura is gone, ask every player on the leaderboard how they feel about tomorrow... "
Tiger tees off at 18. It's a little right and in the rough stuff. It looks to have sat up nicely, though. McDowell looks to be missing the cut for the second year running after a bogey at 17 leaves him needing a miracle to be here for the weekend.
Day has finished his round and his media obligations, and he's off to the practice range for a bit more work. That shows dedication to the cause. Meanwhile, Garcia is on -4 with a birdie at 14 and has parred 15 and 16. It's good to see him back in the mix.
Jason Day (-8):
"I played lovely, gave myself lots of opportunities and made lots of putts. I can't remember which holes I birdied as I was just having fun out there. Playing with Rory helps. This is his third time round and he knows exactly where to go and if he's knocking it stiff, it's pretty easy to see if you can go at pins or not."
Tiger at 17. He's off the green but that chip is delicious, it's close enough to the pin and that should be par.
James Cuell anaesthetist, on call at Queen Elizabeth Birmingham Hospital, via text:
"Just come out of theatre and wish I could watch this on TV but no mess! The text updates are good enough, come on Tiger!"
Tom, Cambridge, via text:
"To Ed in Newcastle. Doing the same but going to watch my basketball team the Celtics play at 1230 until three and then watch the LA Laker game. Then power through to the F1 and the write my law essays. Sport is awesome!"
Halfway leader Rory McIlroy (-10):
"It was another solid day. I got off to the start I wanted to with three birdies on the first nine and I felt I gave myself a few opportunities on the back nine that I didn't take advantage of. But I'm not going to moan. I'm leading the Masters by two at the halfway stage. I've managed my game really well, only made one bogey and that came off not a bad shot. Everything is working well and I'm thinking well."
Justin Rose on Twitter:
"What a battle for me! Had it to +5 for tournament thru 7 today but waited for my run and it came just in time to make the cut. Nice!"
Tiger with a devilishly fast downhill birdie putt at 16. Crikey's that's tricky, like putting in a bath and stopping it by the pug hole. He hardly touches it and the ball just drifts left. His birdie run comes to an end.
Lee Westwood at the last. He's in trouble. Tee shot into Lyle bunker, from there into a greenside bunker but from there, the magic happens. He chips the ball up to within three feet. Class. That's a par save. A 67 and he's five under. He cannot be discounted.
Bernie Hawkins via text:
"Imagine the scene on Sunday. Tiger and McIlroy head to head in the final round. It could turn out to be the greatest Masters ever."
McDowell three putts at 15 for par. Disappointing. He needs one birdie from the closing three holes. The group move to the short 16th, Tiger to go first... bosh. That's within six feet of the stick. What a shot. He's on a roll.
Ed Gray from Newcastle via text:
"Watching this until its end, nap, then up to watch button win pole! I love sport!"Legend.
Padraig's pain is over as he double bogeys the last to finish with a 72 and a +5 total of 149. Put your feet up and watch some golf this weekend son. I wish my boss would say the same to me.
I shouldn't have said that about McDowell. He misjudges the pace of his putt and it rolls way past. He's left with a tricky one for birdie. In the office, we are more angry about the plank that shouts: "Go on Tiger!" after McDowell hits the ball. I despair. Now it is Tiger, and that putt is very good. That's a tap-in for birdie and he's on six under. Well done Westwood, he saves par at 17 from the back of the green. That's an important up and down from there.
I hope Martin Laird packed enough socks for the weekend because he's booked himself a couple of rounds of golf, completing the task of making the cut with a birdie at the last for a 69. He's on -1. Sergio Garcia has ended a run of two bogeys with a birdie at 13 to move to -3 again...
McDowell with his approach to the 15th flag. That's a beaut. It plops on the green and this is set up for at least the birdie he needs. Woods follows him, it's a little longer, and he'll play from the back of the green. Westwood goes long at 17 but chips back onto the dancefloor. A tough one for par.
steve_mawhinney on Twitter:
"Round of real maturity from Rory McIlroy. Strong score despite just missing a string of putts. Bodes well for the weekend."
That group on five under has another member. Tiger birdies 14 with the par-five 15th up next. In an act of supreme kindness, Masters Macca has given me some of his dinner as I haven't been able to get some. I think I love him.
Louie from Walsall via text:
"The Tiger era isn't quite over, Rob in Brighton, and it won't so be easy for these so-called young guns to brush him aside. He is a multiple Masters winner. Please enlighten me as to how many majors McIlroy, Day and Fowler have won? Nil comes to mind!"
Tiger is looking ominous. A fine iron approach to the 14th green gives the world number seven a tidy birdie chance. Westwood with a birdie chance at 16... and it's short. Shame.
ROUND TWO LEADERS:-10 McIlroy (F)
-8 Day (F)
-7 Choi (F)
-6 Ogilvy (F), Quiros (F)
-5 Yang (F), Barnes (F), Couples (F), Fowler (17), Westwood (15)
-4 Schwartzel (F), Donald (F), Furyk (F), Fisher (F), Snedeker (F), Woods (13)
Hello, hello. It's been a bit quiet on the Lee Westwood front so far this week but the world number two is back in the game. He eagles the 15th with a brave putt and he's five under. McDowell does himself a lot of favours with an eagle at 13. Brave response after that six at the 12th. He's +2 with the projected cut at +1.
Wayne, Bebington, via text:
"Mark, how dare you talk about four-time Masters winner and greatest player of the modern era, arguably of all time, in such high regard - it is indeed drivel! I suggest you start writing your letter of resignation now."Consider it written!
Hugo via text:
"Just arrived home from South Africa and well chuffed. On Wednesday I logged into my betting account and had a bullseye each way on McIlroy and Donald. Looking good. Oh and Tidal Bay for tomorrow's National."
McIlroy addresses his putt at the last but decides against it and backs off. He goes again and the ball just squeezes past on the right. He's left a few putts out there today. That lead could have been even bigger. Day sinks his birdie putt and that's a 64. Superb. He's on eight under. Two off Rory. Meanwhile, on the 13th, Tiger Woods putts from the back of the green and then sinks his birdie putt from six feet. He's four under now.
Sergio Garcia, having got to -4, drops a shot at the 11th. Padraig Harrington has an eagle putt at 15 to get to +1. The Irishman misses it and then a tricky birdie putt back. That could be him gone. His doctor would probably prescribe the weekend off anyway.
Rob in Brighton via text:
"I think it's clear to see that the next generation golfer has already arrived in the form of Rory McIlroy. Step aside Tiger, your era has just ended."
Majestic. That's all I can say. McIlroy fires his second from the sand to within eight feet while Day pings his approach to same pin a little above the slope, it slowly rolls down and he's got a three-footer for a 64 - which would be the best round of the week so far.
Woods goes right with his tee shot at 13 and from the pine straw, his approach is a tiny bit long and it's in the rough at the back of the green. Hope it's all right to mention him, Anon. Anyway, McIlroy misses his birdie putt at 17 and at the last, he fires his tee shot into 'Lyle's bunker'. Westwood at 14, and he misses a five-foot birdie putt to remain on three under. That was a chance.
Anon via text:
"Mark please stop this Woods drivel. The fact we have a 21-year-old seven shots better than him and all you go on about is Woods' mojo. Change the record."
Anon via text:
"I am a youthful looking 23 (so my mum tells me) and I'm sure we won't see another golfer of Tiger's calibre while I'm around. Although I would love to see Rory step up and hammer this one!"
glenugie22 on Twitter:
"Putting at Augusta must be like putting on a marble staircase and trying to stop the ball two steps from the bottom."
After the long wait, Woods has his birdie putt at 12 but it doesn't drop. Par for him. Ernie Els, struggling outside the cut mark, gives himself a chance of returning here tomorrow with a long eagle putt at 13. He's +2 now. Ouch, McDowell cards a triple bogey six at the 12th. He's +4 and is going to need three birdies now to make the cut. Meanwhile, McIlroy fires in another fine approach to the stick at 17. He's got another birdie chance.
Well that's a scene you don't see very often. Tiger Woods helping Graeme McDowell look for his ball after the US Open champ fires it into the bank at the back of the short 12th. Either McDowell runs out of time, or they find a ball that isn't his, but whatever, he has to return to the tee and play a third. He's currently on +1, just inside the projected cut mark, so he has to be careful here.
Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood, the old Ryder Cup buddies, have both picked up birdies to further their hopes. Garcia is now at -4 and into a tie for 10th place as he heads to the 11th tee. Westwood, meanwhile, is -3 for the day after a birdie at the 13th.
Chris in Liverpool via text:
"It may well be that you're seeing the emergence of a golfer who will rival Tiger at his best in McIlroy now. Terrific golfer, and surely if he's wearing the green jacket on Sunday it'll be the first of many."
Golf pundit Jay Townsend on BBC Radio 5 live:
"I don't really think it's fair to keep bringing up Rory's blow up at St Andrews. It was a very very windy day then and he didn't cope with it, but he didn't cope with the conditions rather than coping with leading a Major."
This really has been a day to remember for Day. He birdies the 16th and is now seven under for the tournament. Fowler, who was the only one of that trio to birdie 15, claims a par, as does McIlroy.
Good putt from McIlroy at 16. It's got just enough on it and is cup high within the dustbin lid area I was always told to leave my first attempt. Kuchar, by the way, ended up doubling the 12th. He's now on one under and is playing the homeward nine cursing the moment I backed him. Sorry Matt. That's all I can say.
Paul Casey (-2):
"I'm a bit frustrated with my game, this golf course is wonderfully prepared and there for the taking if you put the ball in the right place and take your opportunities. The longer stuff is where I'm struggling and I need to do some work on the range. This golf course is extremely hard to push on and press because there's lots of dangers out there."
Woods finds the short stuff at 12. Looks like he has a bit of his mojo back over the last few holes, or is that me? McIlroy at the short 16, it's pin high but there's spin and the ball trickles down to the bottom of the green. Tough one for birdie from there.
Woods does indeed save par and a little fist pump shows how happy he is with that. Discussion in the office about whether I, as a youthful-looking 38-year-old, or so my mum tells me, will see a better golfer than Woods in my lifetime. Or someone who has an impact on the sport like he did. I don't think so. Views?
Woods from the nasty stuff at the 11th. And amazingly he reaches the green. Incredible. However, that putt is not incredible and from a position where he would be relieved to card a four, he'll now be lucky to card a four. Fowler, Day and McIlroy all go long with their approaches to 15. Day and McIlroy come back and are very fortunate that their balls do not roll into the water. Lucky. They both save par from a sticky situation.
Phil Mickelson (-2):
"I left too many shots out there. You know, there were six chances, up?and?downs that I normally would get up?and?down, I left out there, a couple birdie putts. But that's all in the past and we've got the weekend to look forward to. Unfortunately I'm not in that bad a spot where if I can go out and shoot a good round I can get right back in it. It's kind of like last week is where I'm hoping to pull off, where I'm in a position if I can go make a move on Saturday and get right back in it. These next two days are my favourite two days of the year, the weekend of the Masters. There's nothing better than playing the weekend here at Augusta, and to be a couple under par in a position where a good round in the mid 60s, you can make up a lot of ground out here. I was able to do it last year on Saturday and I'm going to have to make a good run tomorrow, too."
Ross Fisher (-4):
"I'm quietly pleased but at the same time a little disappointed as I didn't play quite as well as yesterday - I didn't holes as many putts. I had a reasonably simple chip from just off the green on 13 but I sculled it into the water and took six and then battled from there. This course is on another level - they cut the fairways in to you so it's difficult to get a good connection. If you get above the hole on the greens it's like putting down a staircase but for two days I've put the ball in good places."
Lee Westwood is on the back nine and is also two under for the day and overall. Steady stuff from the ex-world number one. Martin Kaymer, currently ranked first, is +1 for the day and +7 for the tournament. No green jacket for him this year. Padraig Harrington has six holes to produce some magic as he is +4.
And Woods sinks that tiddler. He's now three under for the day. But things are a little different at the 11th tee. He unleashes an absolute monster but it is not straight. He is way right. Woods smacks his driver very hard into the ground. And maybe he utters a naughty word. Hope the Football Association aren't watching. He'll be very fortunate to save par. Amazing scenes at 12. No-one can find Matt Kuchar's ball. A scene played out at golf clubs up and down the country. Eventually the ball is found, it was plugged very near the water at the front of the green. Kuchar's caddie brushes the grass with his hand, which is a pretty dodgy thing to do in a hazard. We'll see what happens with that. Kuchar takes the ball back to the dropping zone on the tee box side of the bunker to take a third. He's dropping shots for sure.
Martin Laird has four holes to play and at level par he's got a great chance of making the cut on his Masters debut. The Scot is two under for today.
Here's Tiger. He's drilled one stiff into the par-four 10th and has a great chance to claim a third birdie in a row.
It really has been a pleasure to watch some of McIlroy's iron play over the last two days. And that's another beauty. His approach to the 14th pin sits around 15ft above the pin, he did not want to be short. No birdie for him this time but he makes sure he cards a par. Intelligent stuff. Australian Jason Day, playing with McIlroy and Fowler, is having a storming day. He makes five birdies before draining one from above the cup at 16. He's sneaked under the radar and is six under overall. By the way, Masters coverage is up and running on BBC Radio 5 live.
MichaelRocheCFC on Twitter:
"Is McIlroy going to win this Masters in the manner in which Woods won his first Major by umpteen shots? Wouldn't doubt it!"
Tiger has a 10-footer for birdie after a big drive at the ninth. He walks after the ball, he knows that is good. Two birdies in a row for the 14-time Major winner then. He's two under and is on the prowl. I told myself at the start of the week that I wouldn't use that phrase. Sorry.
junningtonsmyth on Twitter:
"Out of the three bets I put on, I did not expect Freddy Couples to be flying the flag for me. Very happy about it though."
Here's Rory then for eagle... and he just misses it. That was close. He'll have to settle for a birdie. That's still a good response after the dropped shot at 12. His three-shot lead is restored.
My tip for this week, Matt Kuchar, slips back to three under with a bogey at 10. Don't worry Matty boy, I've still got faith in you. I know he is reading this text commentary between holes, you know.
ROUND TWO LEADERS:-9 McIlroy (12)
-7 Choi (F)
-6 Ogilvy (F), Quiros (17)
-5 Yang (F), Barnes (F), Couples (F)
-4 Schwartzel (F), Donald (F), Furyk (F), Fisher (F), Fowler (12), Day (12)
An uphill lie for McIlroy's second at 13 but no worries, he absolutely creams it and he's got a seven foot putt for eagle. Have that. The divot he took then went further than I would hit the ball. Makes me want to weep.
McIlroy at the 13th tee box and by heavens he wallops it. It's a tiny bit right but it does not make the rough when the fairway moves around to the left. And here's Woods at the eighth after reaching the edge of the green in two. The putting woes from seven are not repeated and he sinks an eight footer for birdie. He's back to one under.
Stuart in Birmingham via text:
"Can we have an up flag for Martin Laird, -3 for the day through 12 after a bogey at the first?"Your wish is my command.
Thank you Masters Macca. He really does work hard, you know. If this carries on he may get a cheeky Jaffa Cake later on. McIlroy flops the ball out of the bunker at the first attempt but he's got a tricky putt to save par. 10ft maybe. It's straight when it needs to drift in a little and that is his first dropped shot of the week. He looks a little frustrated for a second there. He makes the twitchy par putt and his lead is now two. Rickie Fowler has a difficult downhiller from the back of the 12th green for birdie... and he nails it! That moves him back to four under.
News of some other old hands suffering a bit around Augusta: Retief Goosen bogeyed four of the first seven and has dropped to +2. Stewart Cink had an up-and-down round that featured eight bogeys in the first 12 holes and four birdies in the last six. He finished on +2 and will have a nervous wait in the clubhouse. Ernie Els, meanwhile, is level for the day and +3 overall as he approaches the turn.
Alan via text:
"Re: 2032. Jon, what's better is moaning you don't want to go out for dinner, get to the restaurant and the golf is on! Steak and Masters golf, can't beat it!"
McIlroy saves par at 11, that stroke of luck could be important come Sunday afternoon. Now he's at the stunning par-three 12th and he hasn't got enough on that, it nestles in the front bunker. Another save needed Rory.
Jordy, Suffolk via text:
"Rory needs to be consistent for four days. He won at Quail Hollow because of a last-round 61. He can't do that at Augusta, he can't attack for 4 days. From Saturday it's about minimising mistakes, let his chasers do that."
kev_mfc91 on Twitter:
"Hope that McIlroy can hold on as it would be great for a British player to win it."
Woods slips back to level par after missing an uphill five-footer at the seventh. Sloppy. Handy finish from Quiros. He pars the last for the second day running for a one-over 73 which puts him on six under for the week.
Fred Couples (-5):
"It was a very good round. I was not thinking 67 or 68 but five under going into the weekend, I've got a great shot. The experience of playing so many rounds is key. I've never had a horrible stretch of holes and you know if you keep plugging along you'll make birdies. I've only made three bogeys so far but I'll need to make more birdies tomorrow."
McIlroy gets a stroke of luck at the par-four 11th. He rattles the trees down the left but the ball bounces back onto the fairway. He drills his approach to the green, it flirts with the water but stays dry. Playing partner Fowler, who dropped a shot at 10, is in trouble again at the next - launching his drive way right into the trees. He's got to squirt that out off the pine straw and under the branches... he hits something but gets lucky as the ball makes the lush green fairway.
brighty85 on Twitter:
"Kids in bed. Missus in the bath. Pasta bake in the oven. Masters on tv. Life doesn't get much better."
Jon in Kent via text:
Re: 2014. Well if that's not a commentators curse I don't know what is!"
Adam in London via text:
"OK so my three e/w bets occupy the top three spots on the leaderboard. Can we end the tournament now please? That's pretty much how it works, right? Text the BBC, they pass the message to the Masters organisers, they call all the players in, tell them it's over, job's a good 'un."That's exactly how it works Adam.
Mickelson misses a birdie putt at the last so he reaches the halfway mark on two under after carding a 72. He had four birdies but they were cancelled out by the same number of bogeys while he had seven straight pars on the way home. Not enough for Lefty you'd think. Woods, by the way, sinks that birdie putt and he's on one under.
We've heard from 1991 winner Ian Woosnam and his spondylitis but what about the other golden oldies I hear you cry? Well, 1982 champ Craig Stadler momentarily rolled back the years with three straight birdies on the back nine on his way to a 71. Tom Watson had a 72 to join Stadler on +7. Larry Mize is doing just dandy on +3 with 10 holes to go. But not so pretty for Sandy Lyle as seven successive bogeys mean he is +9 with three to play.
mattlittlechild on Twitter:
"McIlroy picking up where he left off yesterday. Great to watch, will be tough to beat if he carries on this form."
Woods at the par-three sixth. You know the one, it's the one with the bank of people on the slope underneath the tee box looking at the green. I'd top the ball every time. Luckily these boys know what they are doing. Woods absolutely nails it and he's got a seven-footer for birdie. Could this get his round going? Ogilvy ends with three straight pars and is in the clubhouse on six under.
This is getting better and better for McIlroy. Choi makes a horlicks of the last, three putting from inside 10 feet for a bogey five and a second round 70, which leaves him on seven under. McIlroy leads by three.
Luke Donald (-4 overall):
"That was good. I made a couple of mistakes round the turn but seven birdies is good. The greens are still receptive so you can get birdies if you hit good shots. Making putts is important because you are going to be faced with tricky shots and you need a bit more imagination than most weeks. I had a lovely chip in at 11 which got the momentum going and I've definitely given myself a good shot with that round."
ROUND TWO LEADERS:-10 McIlroy (9)
-8 Choi (17)
-6 Ogilvy (17)
-5 Yang (F), Barnes (F), Couples (F), Quiros (16), Fowler (9), Kuchar (6)
-4 Schwartzel (F), Donald (F), Furyk (F), Fisher (15), Garcia (4)
Lee Westwood's promising start suffers a blip with a bogey at the short sixth. The Worksop wonder is at -1. Padraig Harrington and Martin Kaymer are on the seventh and sixth respectively but remain level for the day and in need of some birdies if they want a slice of the weekend action.
McIlroy shows no nerves whatsoever, he drains that putt and he moves to 10 under. His lead over Choi is now two strokes. He looks as if he has been doing this for 20 years. He has not dropped a shot so far this week. Mickelson saves par again at 17.
Paul Casey has finished his round. Three birdies and three bogeys leaves him on -2 at the halfway stage. Nicely placed for a charge on moving day hopefully.
McIlroy with his approach at the ninth... and that's a peach. That's right at the flag and he's got, what, a seven footer for birdie. Good chance. Ogilvy up to six under with a birdie at 15. Mickelson in the trees at 17, and somehow he chips it through a small gap in the branches to land the ball on the dancefloor. More fine scrambling. If that was you or I, the ball would have bounced off five trees and back through our teeth. A bit like a Tom and Jerry cartoon.
Lovely start for Lee Westwood as he adds a birdie at the 5th to go to -2. Meanwhile, Jim Furyk has quietly slipped into contention as he moves to -4 with birdies at 12, 14 and 15.
Live pictures. Thank goodness for that. Mickelson for birdie at 16... and it sneaks under the cup. It's been a frustrating day for Big Phil today. If you read this nonsense yesterday you would know that I picked Matt Kuchar to be a bit of a dark horse this week, following his consistent results on the PGA Tour this year, and the 32-year-old sinks a tricky seven-foot birdie putt at the sixth to move up to five under.
Talking of Stenson, the Swede is bottom of the pile on 13 over after adding a 74 to his first-round horror show 83. Great understated
from him yesterday after that 11 over round. It simply said: "Tough day at work." Brilliant.
TheClapperBored on Twitter:
"My bets on Spurs to win the Champions League and Henrik Stenson to win the Masters are looking stupider by the day... "Sorry, but yes they do.
Another two shots have been picked up by Justin Rose and he's back to level par for the tournament. A fine recovery after a tough front nine that saw him slip to +5. Tiger Woods has started bogey-birdie-bogey and is back to level. Scotland's Martin Laird, meanwhile, is heading down the ninth at -1 for the day, +1 overall.
A little mention of 1991 champion Ian Woosnam, who is way down the leaderboard on 11 over and has revealed that he might have played his last Masters. Here's what he had to say: "I'm absolutely knackered. My short game's just not good enough really but I'm glad I played because I wasn't going to on the first day. My hips are all seized up again and I'm very sore. I struggled through it, but didn't hole a putt all week. I just had to take some sit-downs to take the spasm out of my back. Every now and again the spondylitis gets to me and I just have to get used to it. The seat is not a bad thing to have because it does not weigh anything, especially yesterday when it was five-and-a-half hours to get round. I think we were almost five hours today - it's too slow really. I could feel it last week in Mississippi, but I could play in a buggy there. I don't know if that's going to be my last or not yet. I'll have to see how I'm playing next year - if I'm in this sort of state I most probably won't play."
Luke Donald has his par at the last. 68 today, four under overall and in the mix for the weekend. Graeme McDowell could do with a similar round and he birdied the second to go to +1. Sergio Garcia also birdies the second and he's at -4. Anthony Kim is roaring on the back nine with four birdies in five holes helping him get back to +2. However, the cut has now gone to +1.
ROUND TWO LEADERS:-9 McIlroy (7)
-8 Choi (15)
-5 Yang (F), Barnes (F), Couples (F), Ogilvy (14), Quiros (13), Fowler (7)
-4 Schwartzel (F), Donald (F), Furyk (16), Kuchar (4)
McIlroy is on the eighth tee and he pushes that a little right. The ball shaves the edge of the fairway bunker but it's OK, even though he has an uphill lie. Playing partner Rickie Fowler, him of the hip and happening haircut, is on a bit of a charge, by the way. He has birdied five, six and seven to join the gaggle of players on five under.
Luke Donald birdies the 17th and is heading down the last looking for a par for a 68 and an early marker for round of the day. He's at -4 and very much in the mix.
It has been an up and down round for defending champion Mickelson. He picks up a shot at 10 but gives it straight back at 11 to remain on two under through 14. Meanwhile, at the last, Couples holes a clutch putt to save par. He's in the clubhouse with a fine 68 to leave him five under overall.
Ricky Barnes finishes off with three pars to reach the clubhouse on five under. Someone has just texted in to ask me about Paul Casey, well the Englishman is still on two under through 15 with bogeys at seven and 12 as well as birdies at eight and 11. As for my entry at 1907, I meant to say my colleagues on the golf desk, obviously. Not the
desk. That would be ridiculous.
Ropey Hack Ilroy in Leeds via text:
"Spoke to Rory's coach last month who told me he was playing the best golf of his life. Kinda regretting not betting... cider helps the pain."
thewanderer1982 on Twitter:
"Got a song for the Hoff - 'Here comes the Hoff-stepper' Turn it up. What do you reckon? I think its a winner."
Absolutely! Any others?
The pack is shuffling a little behind leader McIlroy. Geoff Ogilvy, the US Open champion in 2006, birdies 12 and 13 to move up to five under - a total which is looking crowded at the minute. Quiros falls back there after carding a double-bogey five at the 12th together with Couples, who bogeys 16, and Ricky Barnes, who bogeys 12 and 15 but birdies 13 and 14. YE Yang, meanwhile, is the clubhouse leader on five under.
ROUND TWO LEADERS:-9 McIlroy (5)
-8 Choi (13)
-5 Yang (F), Barnes (17), Couples (16), Ogilvy (13), Quiros (12)
-4 Schwartzel (F), Fisher (12), Kuchar (2)
Justin Rose has just nailed an eagle at 13 and that takes him just inside the projected cut on +2. A few of the Euro hopes are just getting their rounds under way, with Lee Westwood, Martin Laird, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Martin Kaymer all on the front nine and level for the day. Luke Donald has undone some of his good work with a bogey at 16 to fall back to -3 (not level as previously stated - apologies).
More good news for McIlroy fans. He's obviously not feeling the pressure of his fine start yesterday and the 21-year-old cards a three at the fifth to lead on his own again on nine under. Earlier on I asked the desk who would be leading the Masters at the end of the day, and only one person replied McIlroy. I wonder how long he'll keep this up for?
Woods, who was in the bunker at the first, fails to recover from his predicament and he cards a bogey five. He's on level par overall.
Just seen a replay of the birdie at the second that put McIlroy on eight under. The four was set up by an exquisite chip from just off the green which put him within a foot. Beautiful. However, Choi is back with him on eight under with his fourth birdie of the day, at the 13th.
A quick reminder that you can watch highlights of the first day's play from Augusta on BBC Two from 1900 BST. The stream is also available in the console at the top of this page if you fancy.
Ian Poulter (-1 overall):
"I'm not happy finishing the way I did yesterday dropping four shots in the last four holes was really disappointing. I played pretty flawless the whole way round and just made a couple of poor putts which put me out of position, poor concentration. But three birdies to start today was good, hitting good shot after good shot. I wasn't really taking many chances after that. I dropped a couple of shots and it was a frustrating bogey on 11 from just right of the green which should really just be a standard up and down for me. But I birdied the 13th and 14th and obviously a nice birdie there at the last. Three dropped shots today which were unforced errors. [The course] is heating up and the greens are going to dry out a little bit I think. There are a couple of trickier pin positions today than there was yesterday and it is definitely going to firm up for the guys in the afternoon."
And we've got some pictures again. Hooray. They are very intermittent though so do bear with me. Woods gets his second round under way... and he plants it into the same sand trap that caught McIlroy and Fowler's ball. My colleague has just come running to me with his fist clenched - Couples has just birdied the par-five 15th and he is on his own on six under. He must have some money on the 1992 champ. Elsewhere, Donald is now up to four under thanks to a three at 14.
Anon via text:
"Re: 1809, cheeky treble over the weekend. Woods to win the Masters, Hamilton to win Malaysian GP and Ballabriggs to win the National pays very handsomely! Definitely worth an e/w bet!"
jimmad1 on Twitter:
"Backed KJ Choi at 66/1. Hope he puts his heart and Seoul into these next two days!"
rawsheen on Twitter:
"'Fred Couples - best swing in golf' - my dad has also been saying that. E/W bet on - would love to see him do the business!"
ROUND TWO LEADERS:-8 McIlroy (3)
-7 Choi (11), Quiros (10)
-5 Yang (16), Barnes (15) Couples (14)
-4 Schwartzel (F), Donald (14), Fisher (9), Kuchar (yet to start)
McIlroy leads the Masters on his own again. He birdies the second while Choi drops a shot at the 11th, his first bogey of the day, and he slips back to seven under. Yang is on five under after a bogey at 16, while Quiros has had an entertaining few holes. The big-hitting Spaniard birdies seven and eight and then drops a shot at the par-four ninth which puts him back on seven under.
After starting and ending the day well Ian Poultner is in the clubhouse with a 69 and on -1 for the tournament. Luke Donald has just birdied the long 13th to move to -3 for the day (level overall). Ross Fisher remains the leading Englishman on -4 after a birdie at eight.
There's plenty more left in the tank for that man Fred Couples. Back problem or no back problem. Best swing in golf. That's what my Dad always told me. He's birdied the par-three 12th for the second day running and is on five under, three off Choi's lead. Stat alert: Coming into this tournament, Fred Couples has the best scoring average at the Masters for anyone that has completed 100 or more at Augusta. His figure of 71.94 puts him ahead of the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. Only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have better averages than him, Tiger playing 62 rounds and Phil playing 70. Players that have played 24 rounds or less are not included in that.
Tony via text:
"Interested in Rob Hodgetts' comment on Jonathan Byrd. I think comments should be made on the scruffiest attire on show. I would name Marino from yesterday. Not exactly on the breadline these guys."
Ian Woosnam will not be in the swing of things at the weekend after following his opening round 78 with a 77. Anthony Kim is +4 for the day and US Ryder Cup skip Davis Love III is +3. Sandy Lyle's scorecard is a bit of a dog's dinner today. He double-bogeyed the first, eagled the second but four bogeys in five holes has him at +5 for the tournament. Justin Rose and Jose Maria Olazabal have lost three shots today to slip below the predicted cut of +2.
OK people, I've waffled on for far too long already. Now it's your turn to get involved. Predictions, silly bets, more Hoff nonsense. All chat welcome. I actually had a celeb encounter today when I waved in apology to Strictly host Bruce Forsyth this lunchtime as he had to move around my parked car on a side street. Beat that. You can use
), you can message me direct on
or you can text me via 81111
before your message.
Mickelson managed to claim a birdie at the eighth before parring the ninth. He's now two under. McIlroy saves par at the first with a clutch putt although Fowler cards a five at the opening hole for the second day running. White slacks are very much the order of the day on this fine Friday. Must be the weather. Vegas, Quiros, McIlroy, Snedeker, Anthony Kim, and many more. I couldn't get away with way wearing those kind of slacks to work I can tell you. Maybe I'll try to tomorrow.
David Toms is heading down the 17th with 13 pars and three birdies in his bag for the day. Choi and Couples also -3 for the day, while Donald, Poulter and Jim Furyk are amongst those who have picked up two shots.
Bill_Bailey on Twitter:
"Hoff fact number 17: The Hoff can get a Big Mac in a Burger King." ** other burger chains are available
McIlroy is right in the middle of the huge fairway bunker at the first. He manages to get out at the first time of asking but he is probably a club too short and his ball settles in the fringe at the front of the green. That's a fair way up the hill. Fowler is playing a bit of sociable golf. He is also at the very front of the green after joining McIlroy in the bunker with his drive.
Here follows a public service announcement. We are aware of a problem affecting some Freeview boxes. When the viewer presses the Red Button during the golf, they get re-directed back to BBC Two. We are told that re-tuning your box will fix this problem. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Joint first-round leader Rory McIlroy is on the first tee box with playing partners Rickie Fowler and Jason Day. Whoopsie. It's not a good start for the Northern Irishman. He's not happy with that. He pushes the ball right and it finds fairway bunker.
This is going to please Sammy L no end. The Hoff has birdied the last. Get in. That's a second-round 69 and he's one under overall. Awesome. That's lifted the whole office to be fair. He reminds me of that Shirley Ghostman character from High Spirits.
Sorry folks, just getting in some practice for later on. Hello all. Thanks very much Sammy. And you join me as Mickelson fires an absolute cracker to the eighth green after finding himself in the pine straw. Again. Boy, can he scramble. Lucky that, because he's had to a few times this week. Could you just manually refresh this page for me my lovelies and this page will be all correct again. Ace.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my time to hand over to
Thanks for all your quality chat all day - absolutely none of which was geeky or involved stealing Chuck Norris jokes - I'm off to watch Charley Hoffman
round out arguably the most entertaining round of golf ever played from a text commentary banter point of view from behind a sofa. You = legends.
A couple of Americans making a move up the leaderboard, by the way, David Toms and Jim Furyk having both picked up a couple of birdies on their way from their overnight level par to two under, through 13 and seven respectively.
Derek, London via text:
"Thanks for that link. Even better, the PGA site is currently profiling the Hoff as the biggest mover! Surely they meant to add "and groover"?"I have no doubt whatsoever that when the Hoff cuts loose, his shapes are utterly formidable.
Poor couple of holes from Luke Donald there as he bogeys seven and nine to drop back to one under - while Phil Mickelson follows a couple of bogeys with a birdie at seven,
that coming courtesy of a typically wonderous escape from the trees following a wayward drive, his second shot rolling to within a few feet of the hole. Stunning.
Ricky Barnes, meanwhile, looking to strike out on his own on the leaderboard, does so in rather unexpected fashion - dropping a shot at 10 to stand alone on five under. LEADERS: -8 Choi (7) -7 McIlroy, -6 Yang (11), Quiros (5), -5 Barnes (10), -4 Schwartzel (17), Couples (9) + four others
Ooh - a treat! For those of you finding yourself hamstrung by the Flash graphics of the official Masters website, I - the man of the people - can now provide you with an alternative link, this one from the
PGA Tour website,
that should work a bit better for you. All you have to do to see this wonderful link is manually refresh this page immediately (or whenever). You are welcome. And you. But not you.
David, five minutes from going to the pub, via text:
"Hoffman is currently 1000-1 to win this. After today he's definitely worth a sentimental £1 bet."
KJ Choi leads! The Korean sinks a two at three to take the outright lead - while his compatriot YE Yang heads in the opposite direction, bogeying 10 to drop to six under. Ross Fisher, meanwhile, gets his round off to a fine start with par-par-birdie, he's now four under.LEADERS: -8 Choi (6) -7 McIlroy -6 Yang (10), Barnes (9), Quiros (4) -4 Schwartzel (16), Couples (8), Woodland (4), Fisher (3), Kuchar
He threatened something special early doors, but it's all going a bit Pete Tong for Ian Poulter, who has dropped another shot at 11 to go two over.
Likewise, Justin Rose is going down faster than a vol au vent at a wedding, bogeying one and six to drop to three over for the tournament and in danger, currently, of missing the cut - projected at two over.
HERE COMES THE HOFF! Charley Hoffman, with whom I have fallen deeply, deeply in love today, has only gone and bagged a four at 15 to go two under for the day, one under for the tournament. Win it for the BBC text commentary, son, go on. Pull it Hoff!
Craig in a pub in Sunny Birmingham via text:
"Hoff fact no.13. The Hoff knows what Willis is talking about."
Bogey attack! YE Yang and Ricky Barnes both fall foul of the dust-mucus with dropped shots at nine and eight respectively to interrupt what had been a doozy of a run of holes for both players. Two players heading in the opposite direction, meanwhile, Trevor Immelman and Gary Woodland picking up shots to go four under. All of which means I have to update our rolling blooming leaderboard again. Hurrumph. Anyone got another pair of hands I could borrow?LEADERS: -7 Yang (9), Choi (5), McIlroy -6 Barnes (8), Quiros (1) -4 Schwartzel (14), Immelman (10), Couples (7), Woodland (4), Kuchar
Word is reaching me, by the way, that Ian Woosnam - who is 10 over through 13 - hit a fan with a shot at the sixth earlier. The victim's head had to be bandaged up but he was generally OK, though reports he was left feeling... woozy are as yet unconfirmed.
Hold your horses Mickelson fans, Big Phil has stuck a temporary pin in your celebratory balloons by bogeying three to drop back to his overnight two under. And now Luke Donald does likewise at seven.
KJ Choi, however, refuses to be dragged into the Mickelson-Donald bogey-off, birdieing four to leap up to seven under and a share of second. Fred Couples, meanwhile, continues to roll back the years with another pick-up at seven to go four under.LEADERS: -8 Yang (8) -7 Barnes (7), Choi (4), McIlroy -6 Quiros (1) -4 Schwartzel (14), Couples (7), Kuchar
James, Bristol, via text:
"Hoff fact no.12. The Hoff doesn't abide by scrabble rules."
Outright leader! YE Yang snags his fourth birdie of the front nine with a four at eight to go eight under for the tournament, one clear of Ricky Barnes and Rory McIlroy. Cracking stuff from the Korean.LEADERS: -8 Yang (8) -7 Barnes (7), McIlroy -6 Choi (3), Quiros (1) -4 Schwartzel (13), Kuchar -3 Immelman (9) + seven others
Here comes Lefty! Phil Mickelson kicks off his second round with par-birdie to join the likes of Luke Donald on three under,
but Paul Casey drops one at four to fall back to two under. Charl Schwartzel continues to yoyo, meanwhile, birdieing 13 to move back to four under.
Jim, Leicester via text:
"Is it just me or is Andrew Cotter doing a marvellous 'Blue Steel' at 1451? Lovely stuff."
Formerly-relatively-obscure-American-now-new-BBC-text-commentary-hero Charley Hoffman continues his run of pars - he's one over through 12. He is joined by Ian Poulter, who bogeyed eight to drop back and take the gloss rather off that earlier run of birdies.
All change at the top of the leaderboard! Overnight leader Alvaro Quiros drops a shot at the first to slip back to six under, KJ Choi birdies the second to join him, Charl Schwartzel bogeys 12 to fall to three under - and at the top, Ricky Barnes pulls alongside YE Yang and Rory McIlroy with a two at the par three sixth. We're mixing it up now, people. Mixing. It. Up.LEADERS: -7 Yang (7), Barnes (6), McIlroy -6 Choi (2), Quiros (1) -4 Kuchar -3 Schwartzel (12) + seven others
Stewart in Liverpool via text:
"RE: Paul in Kent. If the rule came in last year, doesn't that mean Andy was wrong and Will was wrong, which means you're wrong too, but Steve was originally right? Erm, where am I?"My head hurts. Seriously.
BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts on Twitter:
"We've co-leaders in Pants (in US sense) of the Day contest: Donald (purple/green tartan), Poulter (blue/white check), Hoffman (lurid green)."Hoffman again you see? We're creating a legend here, people.
It is notoriously the kiss of death (Rory McIlroy before last year's Open, Ross Fisher before last year's PGA) but Luke Donald is threatening to overcome another bok at Augusta - being the subject of a pre-tournament interview with Ben Dirs
told our man how he was going to his major 'disease'
and he's doing just that so far today - a birdie at making it three out from his last four holes and he is storming up the leaderboard, the Englishman now three under, tied for seventh. For a man dealing with having won the par-three tournament as well, you have to say he's doing things the hard way. If you believe in fate, omens, magic that kind of thing anyway.
Many of you enquiring as to when your favourite players are out and about today, and here are some of the most requested
sexiest man in golf Camilo Villegas is off at 1614 BST; overnight leader Rory McIlroy is off with fellow Young Turk Rickie Fowler at 1742; three-time major winner Padraig Harrington goes off at 1804; Lee Westwood of England is out of the blocks at 1826; Tiger tees off at 1848 with Northern Ireland's US Open champion Graeme McDowell; and Sergio Garcia, showing flickers of form, brings up the rear at 1859.
Fred Couples, back at the scene of his only major triumph in 1992, is looking to recreate former glories with a second-round run... and he's not doing a bad job at at the moment, birdieing two and four to move up to three under, just four off the lead. Someone was asking after Trevor Immelman a moment ago, too, well I can report he has just bogeyed seven to drop back to two over. Erm... sorry.
LEADERS: -7 Yang (6), McIlroy, Quiros -6 Barnes (5) -5 Choi -4 Schwartzel (11), Kuchar -3 Couples (3), Casey (2) + five others
Paul in Kent via text:
"Andy had it wrong, the rules came in last July, 2010, so proper nouns are now allowed, Will was right."The counter blows rain in. What a debate this is.
South Africa Charl Schwartzel returns to the birdie party, picking up a shot at 10 to go four under and a tie for sixth.
Paul Casey - much like compatriot Luke Donald before him (cough) - birdies two to go three under, while another birdie for Donald, this time at four, takes him to two under. Just like M People, the English are moving on up...
Andy, Ipswich (although currently at work in London!) via text:
"In Will's defence new rulers aren't until July so he wins as of current state of play."Scrabble-gate continues apace.
Stuart, Sweltering in Camden, via text:
"Our Charley [Hoffman] is the second most searched for Charley on Google. This guy has become a legend in a single afternoon..."Top work all round people, top work.
Correction! Englishman Luke Donald birdied
the second hole. Being sat some 4,000 miles away from the action without any TV or audio coverage comes to bite me firmly on the behind. I shall immediately pull myself to one side for a darn good horse whipping.
Ricky Barnes on the surge now, the American adding a birdie at four (Flowering Crab Apple) to his earlier one at two (Pink Dogwood) to move up to six under, a shot off the three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard. Englishman Paul Casey is also up and running, people, he picked up a par at the first.LEADERS: -7 Yang (5), McIlroy, Quiros -6 Barnes (4) -5 Choi -4 Kuchar -3 Schwartzel (9) + seven others
An update on your new best friend and mine Charley Hoffman now - the American is playing very much by the course with a run of eight pars to add to his opening-hole birdie and stay one over. Impressive.
No such worries for YE Yang, though, who has cast that opening-hole bogey firmly to one side with a hat-trick of birdies - and the Korean is our new Masters leader! I'm not just saying this, but only this morning I told anyone who would listen that this was YE Yang's tournament to win. The good news all round is that I was too chicken to actually stick any money on it. Oh well. Misery can be entertaining in many ways. Elsewhere, Ricky Barnes picks up a shot at two to move to five under. Just as at a teenage disco, moves being made all over the place now.LEADERS:-7 Yang (4), McIlroy, Quiros -5 Choi, Barnes (2) -4 Kuchar-3 Schwartzel + seven others
Ah, Ian Poulter's hot streak comes to an end in Georgia with a bogey five at five, the Englishman slipping back to level for the tournament.
Dan, not working, via text:
"Hoff fact no.11: His favourite food is 'round table pizza'."Incredible.
Will, in a surprisingly sunny Manchester, via text:
"RE: Steve in Soho: Oh Sam you've been done like a kipper there, people names are of course illegal tender in Scrabble!"An insight into Will's crazy social life, there.
No, I'm not Yang-king your chain, Korean star YE Yang has just picked up another shot at three to move to six under and third place on his own. Birdie, too, for Charl Schwartzel - this time at eight - to move him back up to his overnight three under, but it's not so great for another Korean Kim Kyung-Tae, who has slipped to one under with a bogey-bogey run at six and seven. Shame.
LEADERS: -7 McIlroy, Quiros -6 Yang (3) -5 Choi -4 Barnes, Kuchar
Anyone else worried Andrew Cotter's lost it?
BBC Sport's Andrew Cotter on Twitter:
"Ha ha.... good job Randy! Looks like the I-20 is a no go..... Back to sports and Iayyn Poulter from Great England is getting hot hot hot out at Augusta. Three birds and a par and the dog moves to minus 1 total. That's your sports. Kicking back now with The Doobie Brothers..."
Relatively obscure American alert: Ben Crane is slipping way down the field, not helped by a run of bogey-bogey at five and six. Ben could really do with... a lift. Ahem.
Steve in Soho via text:
"Hoff fact no.10: His name is worth 33 points in Scrabble."Sad but true. Probably. I'm not going to check if I'm honest.
BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts on Twitter:
"The pin positions are generally tougher today - tucked towards edges. Front left on 13 close to creek, 16th front right, 9th back left, 6th back left."
Like a hungry nine-year-old boy looking for a snack, Ian Woosnam is digging out the bogeys at the moment - a four at six (Juniper) making it a hat-trick of dropped shots. Snot (snigger) what he would've wanted.
LEADERS: -7 McIlroy, Quiros -5 Yang (2), Choi -4 Barnes, Kuchar
YE Yang is back on track after a birdie at two, he is the leader on the course at five under, while Ian Poulter's birdie run ends at four with a par. I'm pretty sure he'd have taken that opening at the start of play. American Zach Johnson, meanwhile, birdies the second having bogeyed it yesterday to move to level for the round, but compatriot Craig Stadler is struggling. Badly. He is now 10 over and already considering a weekend break to his holiday home in Bognor.
Tom B, Manchester, via text:
"Hoff fact no.8: His
is receiving a record number of hits today, although the previous record was possibly about 6..."Sam Lyon - starmaker.
On the charge! Ian Poulter makes it three birdies in his first three holes by picking up a shot at the par-four Flowering Peach - he is making a real go of this front nine in good scoring conditions. American Ricky Barnes, meanwhile, opens up with four at the first to stay four under for the tournament.
BBC Sport's Ken Brown on Twitter:
"Today - the pin on the 13th is front. Some will think "My heart says go, but the mind say no!" It's in the position where Tiger putted into the creek!"
David, bored (obviously), via text:
"Surely Craig (below) is confusing his Hoffs? Fabricated or not, aren't we talking Charley here, not THE Hoff?"Man I hope his story was about Charley. Really hope.
Cracking opening from Ian Poulter - he makes it birdie-birdie at the second to move to level par. The Englishman looks pumped. Elsewhere, close... but no cigar (boom boom) for Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez as he opens up his second round with a bogey at the first to drop to level par for the tournament, while Swede Peter Hanson, taking time out from his recording studio duties, has followed his par at the first with a birdie and a bogey. Meanwhile, Jose Maria Olazabal, the last European winner of the Masters in 1999, opens up with a par.
Anon via text:
"Hoff fact no.7: Charley has a BSc in Communications."So dull, it must be true.
Charley Hoffman update - the new text commentary favourite is still one over for the tournament, the American one under for the round after a run of four pars. Anyone think he might celebrate a Masters win with a dash across the beach and into the surf, boogie board tucked under his arm? Just me? Right. Unsteady start from overnight contender YE Yang, meanwhile, the Korean dropping a shot at the first to slip to four under, three off the lead.
LEADERS: -7 McIlroy, Quiros -5 Choi -4 Yang (1), Barnes, Kuchar
Craig, in the office clock watching, via text:
"Hoff fact no.6: I sat next to the great man on a flight to Australia. A flight attendant asked him for an autograph, with which he pulled a stack of glossy A4 pictures of himself from his hand luggage stating... "I never have enough of these". Absolute legend."Love it.
Kim Kyung-Tae birdies the second, moving the Korean star up to three under and a share of seventh alongside South African Trevor Immelman, who has landed a par four at the first. Also, poor from me - I've mis-numbered your Hoff facts! Woeful. Now, even though I'm sure 97.6% are fabricated, you may want to refresh to restore order. Or, you know, not. Whatever.
Anyone have their money on Craig Stadler before the tournament? You'd have been better off buying shares in sundials. The American has just bogeyed three to slip to nine over. Ouch.
Eamonn, toasting in the office, via text:
"Hoff fact no.4: The Hoff shares his birthday with Gerard Depardieu (27 December)."Intriguing.
"Mmmbop his way up the leaderboard"... hahahaha... ah I do make myself laugh.
Ah. Schwarztel's hopes of making an early push while the front-runners enjoy a lie-in take a bit of a kick in the Charls with a bogey four at the par-three fourth (the Flowering Crab Apple, no less). Sweden's Peter Hanson, meanwhile, gets going with a par at the first - will he be hoping to Mmmbop his way up the leaderboard today I wonder?
The Poults comeback is on. Ian Poulter, he of the crazy hair and even crazier dress sense, gets his second round going with a birdie at the first to go one over. A few more of those today and he get himself right back in contention for the weekend.
I didn't thieve the extra bacon slice, I hasten to add, it was merely waved through as a reward for my abundant charm and winning smile. Honest.
Fans of flags might want to give this page another refresh, by the way, 'cos I've only gone and stuck a couple of American ones in to dictate the ups and downs of the early runners. It is, quite literally, the highlight of my day so far. And this from a man who got away with an extra slice of bacon in his canteen roll this morning.
As Ian Poulter gets his second round up and running looking to turn his Masters around following a two-over-par 74 yesterday, Ian Woosnam rolls back the years with a birdie at two to 'leap' up to five over. Charl Schwarztel is doing his best mouth-trumpet at Augusta, with a par-par-par start.
LEADERS: -7 McIlroy, Quiros -5 Choi, Yang -4 Barnes, Kuchar
Todd, stuck in the library, via text:
"Hoff fact no.2: The Hoff's middle name is Lindley."Brilliant.
Sad news for fans of relatively obscure American golfers - DA Points, Kevin Streelman and Nathan Smith have all bogeyed the first. Any fans of relatively obscure American golfers out there, by the way? Or have I just inadvertently insulted the exalted members of the previously unheard of Points/Streelman/Smith fan-club?
Par-par so far for Charl Schwartzel and Stuart Appleby in the first group, Charley Hoffman following up his birdie with a par five at two, the Pink Dogwood.
TeamBevan on Twitter:
"Hoff fact no.1: He was the first two-time winner of the California State High School Championship!"Fascinating.
Steady start for Ian Woosnam, the veteran Welshman hoping for an improved round today after a torrid six-over-par 78 yesterday. He kicks off with a par four at Tea Olive - the launchpad for an assault on the leaders, for sure. Ish.
LEADERS: -7 McIlroy, Quiros -5 Choi, Yang -4 Barnes, Kuchar
BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts on Twitter:
"Heard good yarn on way in. Phil Mickelson went to drive-in for certain donut emporium in Green Jacket with kids on way to airport last year. Anyway, here at Augusta it's a bit cloudy. Not too cold. Dry. Highs of 84F (29C) expected."
Anon via text:
"Now you mention him, I'd love to see Miguel Angel Jimenez win this event. Unlikely, but what a character. Imagine that cigar in the winners hut..."
May I ask you to refresh this page quickly? I ask only so you can all enjoy a feast of video action at the top of this page with action, archive material and interviews all available for your perusal. That way, you don't have to read my witterings about almost making it as a pro footballer. Which is nice.
Birdie for the Hoff! New BBC text commentary hero Charley Hoffman thrives on his new-found fame by sinking a birdie three on the first to move up to one over. Is this the start of a surge? Charl Schwartzel kicks off with a par, as does Stuart Appleby. That's the first group through the first hole.
chrisridge on Twitter:
"I can see Mickelson going for it today and significantly moving up the leaderboard. Can't see Tiger moving up though!"
Let's have a look at
today's early runners and riders, then.
As you know, South African Charl Schwartzel
- T7 on three under - was in the first group out at 1245 BST, with Welshman Ian Woosnam
(+6) due out round about now, Englishman Ian Poulter
(+2) out at 1329 and Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez
(-1) teeing off at 1351. We've also got Americans Ryan Moore, Davids Toms and Zavh Johnson in the next hour or so, so all is not lost. Oh, and The Hoff, of course. Don't forget The Hoff.LEADERS: -7 McIlroy, Quiros -5 Choi, Yang -4 Barnes, Kuchar
Gareth, east London, via text:
"Yeh, Leyton Orient WISH they could have someone with your skills."Damn right! And I cut a mean half-time orange too. Wasted.
The Hoff has teed off! American Charley Hoffman - sporting surely one of the worst barnets on the circuit (think Phil Mitchell meets Terry Nutkins) - gets going in the day's first group alongside Aussie Stuart Appleby and South African Charl Schwartzel, only the latter of which is anywhere near the leaders at the start of play. The tension in our office is palpable.
dhr1000 on Twitter:
"Watch out for a move from Rickie Fowler today also a bounce back from Ian Poulter."
Plenty more chat on all that jazz to come, obviously, but I must warn you that on the face of it, it looks a quiet start to proceedings today to say the least. Unless you're all big Charley Hoffman fans, of course, in which case your ship has very much come in, people. All the more reason for you all to get involved! Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text in via 81111 (UK)
. No excuses.
Of course it's not just about Rory McIlroy
today - good heavens, no. For a start, Spaniard Alvaro Quiros
shares the Holywood star's lead at seven under, you have the likes of YE Yang, KJ Choi, Matt Kuchar
and Ricky Barnes
hot on their trail, British names like Ross Fisher, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald
and Sandy Lyle
not a million miles away and monster stars like Phil Mickelson
and Tiger Woods
bang in the mix as well. And that, as Titanic captain Edward John Smith might have said to his first officer, is just the tip of the iceberg. Bonanza.
He says he has. But then I say I had football trials for Leyton Orient as a kid, you know what I mean? "I know better than anyone else what can happen after you lead in the first round of a major," says the Northern Irishman. "St Andrews is going to be big on my mind but I've learned from it and I'll be better prepared to go out and shoot a good score." Is this weekend going to be a big fat red letter day in the life of Rory McIlroy, then, or another lesson on the 21-year-old's brilliantly steep learning curve?