AUGUSTA, Ga. — While Brooks Koepka presumably sat somewhere dry and warm, Jon Rahm grinded in his rain-soaked gray sweater, his puffs of breath a reminder of how brutal conditions had turned for the 39 players who returned to the course early Saturday at the 87th Masters.
“I mean it’s basically impossible,” said Cameron Young of the morning’s conditions. “I don’t really know what you’re supposed to do.”
Rahm played the back nine 1 under to get to 10 under for the tournament, two strokes shy of Koepka, who won last week at LIV Golf Orlando. A bogey on the 18th gave Rahm a 3-under 69. The Spaniard’s best Masters finish, solo fourth, came in 2018.
Masters 2023 leaderboard: Get the latest news from Augusta
36-hole total scoring average by wave
Late/early tee times: 144.4
Early/late tee times: 146.8
2.4 stroke differential
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) April 8, 2023
U.S. Amateur champion Sam Bennett sits alone in third, four strokes back, and will be paired with Koepka and Rahm in the third round at 1:06 p.m. ET. Players will go off in threesomes off both tees beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET. More rain is forecasted for the afternoon.
While the battle at the top tightened, the movement around the cut line drew attention as Tiger Woods looked to make his 23rd consecutive cut. Woods will go back for more on Saturday, despite bogeys on his last two holes. His consecutive cut streak of 23 ties a record held by Fred Couples and Gary Player.
Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland are six back.
“I didn’t really have too many mud balls,” said Hovland of Saturday morning’s play. “But we’ll see how much more rain this course can hold. But it actually was in great shape when we showed up here this morning.”
Past champions Larry Mize and Sandy Lyle wrapped up their Masters careers Saturday morning.
Play was suspended on Friday not long after three pine trees fell near the 17th hole. Mize, who has now played in 40 Masters, was on the 16th hole lining up a putt when he heard the crack of a branch.
“Shocked, scared. I’ve never seen anything like that on the golf course,” said Mize of his reaction. “I’ve seen branches fall, big branches. I remember being at Spyglass one time out in California when a big branch fell, which was scary, but nothing like this. … It’s just a miracle that nobody got hurt.
Fifty-four players made the cut, which fell at 3 over. Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson were among the notables to exit early.
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