• The Masters, Round Two: Plays of the Day

Plays of the Day: Garcia's gesture & Couples' omen

ESPN staff
April 6, 2012

ESPN is providing live commentary and updates during all four days of The Masters from Augusta National - along with comprehensive news views and opinions.

Masters 2012: Second round report
Masters 2012: Second round gallery
Masters 2012: What They Said

Fab Fred

For the second year in a row Fred Couples, 52, finds himself at five under through 36 holes - and in with a chance of becoming the oldest winner of the tournament. Jack Nicklaus currently holds that record at 46. Rory McIlroy put it nicely: "I hope I'm that cool at 52."

Cranky Colin

Colin Montgomerie, talking about Tiger Woods' second shot at the 11th: "I don't want to be critical" - OK, fair enough - "but that's rotten." Hate to hear him being critical.

Lyle be back

The Scot hit a 78 on the second day to climb off the foot of the leaderboard, despite being 20 over - but only because the man below him, Jason Day, withdrew through injury. We shudder to think what his odds must have drifted to in-play when he was at nine over through seven holes of his first round. Computers must have been blowing up at bookmakers throughout the country.

Tiger versus the form book

In his 14 major victories to date, Tiger Woods has shot 69 or better in the second round on every single occasion. Today, the American - hardly helped by a woeful putting touch - was only able to manage a score of 75. Time to write off his chances?

Any excuse to get one back on the media

Sergio Garcia, four-under, has been struggling with an injury to one of his fingers all week, an issue he said was affecting his ability to grip the club. When asked which finger was the problem by a member of the press, the Spaniard flipped him the middle one ('the bird', as we believe Americans call it). Whether this was the injured digit or just an unneccessarily angry response to the question, unfortunately we just cannot be sure.

Mickey mouse stuff from Donald

Playing with the additional pressure of being the world No. 1, Luke Donald scrambled his way around in pretty shabby fashion on Thursday - before a fax machine controversy threatened to end his involvement in the tournament altogether. Perhaps he would have been better off suffering that particular kind of indignity, after nearly failing to make the cut after another shocking display on Friday.

The Englishman's worst moment came at the eighth, where he duffed his chip before three-putting his way to a double-bogey. Yes, the soft course - making it much longer - hardly played into his hands, but it has still been a disappointing performance from one of the pre-tournament favourites.

"Who was the winner last time exactly 63 players were in action during the weekend? None other than a certain Freddie Couples"

Don't look back in anger

Adam Scott finished second at this tournament last year, thanks primarily to a newfound confidence in his putting that allowed him to be deadly on the greens. Having switched to a belly putter that steadied his stroke, Scott regularly rolled approach putts six feet past the hole, before burying the return. Scroll on 12 months, however, and the situation is completely different. After making a mess of pretty much anything outside three feet on Thursday, the Australian repeated the palaver on the short stuff before finally picking up a couple of shots late in his round to sit some way off the pace at one-over.

Still, at least he fared better than the compatriot he shared second place with last year - Jason Day was forced to retire from the tournament on Friday due to injury.

Can't putt, won't win

His driving was off again on Friday, but it was with the putter that Tiger really struggled. Short putts were missed at the sixth, 11th and 14th - all costly errors that kept him from making any real inroads on either Old Man Par or the leaders. Maybe it's bold to say it (more accurately, maybe it isn't), but that's why he won't win this week.

The first cut is the deepest

When all was said and done, 63 players ended up making the cut. Who was the winner last time exactly that number of players were in action during the weekend? None other than a certain Freddie Couples...

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