The table was set for a delicious duel between the leading players who play in the controversial LIV golf series, such as the American Brooks Koepka and the top three on world golf’s ranking, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
But after the unfinished second round of the US Masters played at the crown jewel at Augusta, there were dates. The feast was marred twice by bad winds and an electrical storm on Friday.
Koepka, who already has four Majors to his name, was the leader in the clubhouse after scoring 67 shots in the second round.
He finished on 132 strokes (-12) which is three strokes better than that of the Spaniard Rahm (-9 after nine holes), the American amateur Sam Bennett (136, -8), followed by Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland of Norway (both -6) and Sam Burns, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Cameron Young (all -5), when the day’s play was cut short a second time.
The storm resulted in three trees being uprooted on the 17th hole and falling onto the fairway. Fortunately, none of the thousands of spectators were injured.
Rahm, third in the golf ranking, was the leader along with Koepka and Hovland (-7) after the first round.
Rahm was on his way to catch Koepka, who teed off early in perfect weather conditions and excelled with birdies on the 8th and 9th holes before the weather intervened.
The American Scheffler, first in the rankings, scored 75 shots in the second round and finished at -1.
Second-ranked Northern Irishman McIlroy will want to forget his performance as soon as possible, as he finished at +5 and will not qualify for the final two rounds.
The South African attack of Charl Schwartzel (147, +3), the promising amateur Aldrich Potgieter (151, +7) and Louis Oosthuizen (-7 on the 17th hole) waned.
A total of 39 players have yet to complete their second rounds, but more wind, rain and lightning are forecast for Saturday, which could make the Masters a minefield.
But break a lance for Bennett, the 23-year-old unsung amateur, who is one of seven amateurs playing. His performance is a fairy tale, because he does not hit the ball too far and his swing is unimpressive.
But he is 13 shots ahead of the other leading amateurs, Harrison Crowe and Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira, who are both five shots over par.
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