AUGUSTA, Ga. — Patrick Reed had a trying round for much of the day Friday — but the smile on his face after a second-round 72 was the kind only a spectacular shot in the Masters can bring.
Bunkered with his second shot on the par-4 18th hole, Reed aimed a good 30 feet above the hole, then allowed the slope to carry the ball right into the cup for an electrifying birdie.
“I’ve seen it about 50 times throughout the years of watching it,” Reed said. “Everyone seems to go right on the bunker shot. And I was like, ‘Might as well try it. Nothing to really lose.’ I knew if I went at the flag, there was no chance of stopping it.
“I was thinking 6 to 10 feet would have been great. To check up like it did, from my angle from the center of the cup, and I saw Keegan (Bradley, his playing partner) raise his hand a little bit and I knew it was in.”
Reed did a little leg kick as the ball disappeared. The improbable 3 gave him a bit of a kick up the leaderboard, into a tie for 19th place at 2-under-par with the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia.
Twelve strokes back of leader and fellow American young gun Jordan Spieth, Reed said he knows what he has to try to do in Saturday’s third round.
“Basically drive it like I did (Friday), hit iron shots like I did (Thursday) and putt like I did (Thursday) and I should be OK,” Reed said.
This is Reed’s second Masters start. The former University High golfer, ranked 15th in the world, missed the cut last year.
Reed and 2014 Masters co-runner up Jonas Blixt of Sweden tee off at 11:55 a.m. CDT Saturday.
They will be one group ahead of world No. 1 McIlroy and defending and two-time Masters champion Watson, who has Lafayette native Ted Scott as his caddie. They tee off at 11:45 a.m.
Woods and Garcia tee off at 12:15 p.m., while Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey go off at 1:35 p.m. Spieth and Charley Hoffman go off in the final group at 1:55 p.m.
Dustin Johnson’s office is about to get a lot more glittery.
Johnson recovered from a double bogey on the first hole to eagle the par-5 second, eighth and 15th holes. He also birdied the par-5 13th en route to a second-round 67, putting him in a tie for third at 7-under.
The Masters awards competitors a pair of crystal goblets for each eagle, but never has the tournament given out so many prizes all at once to the same golfer.
This is the first time anyone has eagled three holes in one round, meaning Johnson is going home with a half-dozen pieces to add to a collection he keeps in his office.
“After today, I think that’s seven eagles I’ve made here,” Johnson said.
He’ll try to add a green jacket to his haul Sunday.
Eye on Augusta
After the first two days of the tournament were televised by ESPN, coverage now switches to CBS for the third and final rounds this weekend.
This will be the 60th consecutive year that CBS has televised the Masters, the longest-running agreement between a network and a sporting event in American sports.
This also will be the 30th consecutive Masters for CBS lead announcer Jim Nantz. The CBS telecast begins Saturday at 2 p.m.
The last word
“I felt like I won the tournament.”
— Two-time champion Ben Crenshaw after his 44th and final Masters
Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.