Golf: Danny Lee in hunt at Masters

By Simon Plumb at Augusta National

Danny Lee of New Zealand looks on during the second round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Photo / Getty
Danny Lee of New Zealand looks on during the second round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Photo / Getty

Danny Lee remains well in contention at the Masters, two shots off the lead after the second round.

The 25-year-old Kiwi carded a bittersweet two-over par 74 this morning (NZT) - a tidy display undermined by a pair of late bogeys which slid him back to two-under par overall for a share of third.

At one point Lee managed to get it to five-under, which would have held the halfway lead, but on another windy day at Augusta National it was a gutsy performance which keeps him well in the hunt for the Green Jacket.

As the first New Zealander to make the cut at the Masters since since Phil Tataurangi in 2003, Lee said he was pleased with today's display, only for bogeys on the closing two holes to leave a sour taste.

"I'm very happy with where I've finished today, but I'm very disappointed with two three-putts in a row to finish bogey-bogey on 17 and 18," Lee said.

"But, I hit good putts, I just didn't see them breaking like they did. What can you do.

"It's playing tough out there and the wind is very gusty. I hit a lot of good shots and at times the wind would just eat up my ball. But I played pretty solidly."

American Jordan Spieth is the front runner on four-under. But the defending champion's day flipped what had threatened to be a one-man show, into a compelling contest which should go down to the wire over the next two days.

Early in his round, Spieth held a five-shot lead, but that evaporated to just a single stroke after his late tee-time collided with massive afternoon gusts.

Rory McIlroy, is on three-under - just one back of Spieth and one ahead of Lee and Scott Piercy. McIlroy's second round 71 was one of the best scores of the day.

After an aggressive 68 yesterday, Lee refused to take his foot off the gas this morning (NZT), shooting for pins and gunning for Par 5's in two. Despite dumping two balls into Rae's Creek, Lee managed to get out of Amen Corner's infamous three hole stretch relatively unscathed, losing just one shot before an excellent birdie putt on the par 3 16th had him on four-under overall.

But a chunk of momentum was lost when he three-putted both the 17th and 18th greens for consecutive bogeys.

Content with his long game, Lee spent the afternoon on the practice green after racking up a four-putt and two three-putts in his second round.

"I missed a couple of short putts today, yesterday it felt like I made a lot of putts, but I didn't make enough today," he said.

"It seems like I need to work on my putting a little bit, so I'll be spending a lot of time out there."

Lee will be in one of the last groups for tomorrow's third round, a day which could position him for a tilt at a shock major championship victory which would be heard around the world.

- NZ Herald

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