Published: Sat, April 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Koepka shows mental toughness to share Masters lead

Koepka shows mental toughness to share Masters lead

McIlroy was again at odds with all departments of his game on day two at Augusta National and struggled for consistency throughout, although he did produce moments of brilliance with an eagle at the eighth, while he avoided a third six on his card when he got up-and-down from 180 yards at the 15th to scramble a valuable par.

"I feel like I played my own way back into the tournament, " said Woods, who followed his opening 70 to finish at 138, 6 under par, and in a share of sixth place.

Day and Scott were joined in the clubhouse lead by British Open victor Francesco Molinari (67), Brooks Koepka (71) and Louis Oosthuzien (66). It added up to a 68 for the Australian who won the Masters six years ago, and has gone three years since his last victory.

It's day two of the 2019 Masters and it's going to take a big round from Rory McIlroy to shoot his way back into contention at Augusta.

The 31-year-old's management confirmed Day aggravated his ongoing back injury when he leant down to kiss daughter Lucy on Augusta's practice putting green on Thursday morning.

It worked wonders as he appeared to be in considerably less pain while putting together a round that was almost flawless, although Day said his wife Ellie deserved just as much credit for his remarkable recovery.

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"I made five birdies - that wasn't the problem, " McIlroy said. To shoot under par today considering some of the breaks I got and some of the shots I hit, and I'm right there. Two holes later, after a bogey at the hard par-4 fifth, Woods drained a 20-footer at the par-3 sixth.

The only stain was a poor tee shot at the par-3 12th, and a subsequent sloppy bunker shot, which resulted in a bogey.

Luckily for the guard - and Woods - there was no lasting damage.

"The Masters, how big it is and the distraction of wanting to win this tournament so bad, it (the back injury) is nearly a blessing in disguise", Day said.

"I'm not trying to, you know -- just because it's a major on a Saturday, I'm not going to go out and do anything different".

The Queenslander withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month, citing an annular tear in a disc in his back, which required him to have four cortisone injections around his spine.

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