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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 30 August, 2014

McIlroy just makes the cut as Bubba Watson takes control at the Masters

The 2012 winner hit five birdies in a row.

Watson celebrates his birdie on the 14th.
Watson celebrates his birdie on the 14th.
Image: Matt Slocum/AP/Press Association Images

Updated at 00.30

FIVE BIRDIES IN a row from the 12th hole has given Bubba Watson a three-shot lead over the field after shooting 68 in the second round of the Masters at Augusta National on Friday.

The 2012 winner, who will be upset to finish today’s play with a bogey, started his round just a shot back from Bill Haas, who led overnight with a 68.

A birdie on the seventh was followed by a bogey on the ninth to ensure Watson reached the turn on level-par 36, but he really went on a roll from the par-3 12th, making light work of Amen Corner.

However, the dropped shot on the last means he holds a three-shot lead in the clubhouse from John Senden, the Australian also shooting 68 today.

It wasn’t such a good day for Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy who was in real danger of missing the cut after some wayward ball striking today.

Birdies on the third and fifth helped save what could have been a disastrous front nine following a double bogey at the par-3 fourth.

Things got much worse for the former world number one after the turn and he was four-over par — the projected cut mark — for the tournament thru 13. However, five consecutive pars, including a clutch putt at the last, were enough to see him make the cut.

Darren Clarke shot two-over for the second successive day to ensure he’ll be around for the weekend but the news was not so good for Graeme McDowell as his six-over par 78 will make him an observer for the final two day.

Earlier in the day, Thomas Bjorn of Denmark was the big mover with eight birdies in a round of 68 to move from one-over to three-under .

Defending champion Adam Scott mixed three birdies with three bogies to remain on -3 but three-time winner Phil Mickelson missed the cut on +5.

Additional reporting from AFP.

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