T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Bubba Watson powers ahead in second round of Masters
They say experience counts for a lot at Augusta National during Masters week.
Based on what 2012 champion Bubba Watson did on Friday, it would be hard to argue otherwise.
Watson, who won earlier this year in the Northern Trust Open (his first victory since that epic, sudden-death playoff win in Augusta two years ago), fired a 4-under 68 in the second round Friday to move to 7 under for the tournament and is the clubhouse leader, four shots ahead of his closest pursuers at the time of this post.
It wasn't until the ninth hole on Friday -- his 27th hole of the tournament -- that Watson made his first bogey. He was the only player in the field without a bogey up to that point.
He made the turn in even-par 36 and shortly after, that's when the fireworks started.
Starting on the difficult par-3 12th hole, Watson rattled off five consecutive birdies. The birdie streak came to an end on the par-4 17th hole, where Watson settled for a two-putt par from 30 feet. He missed about a 5-footer for par at the final hole and settled for bogey and the 68.
Watson's impressive play might end up costing a lot of players a weekend tee time. The cut rule at the Masters has the top 50 players and ties moving on to weekend play, as well as all those within 10 shots of the lead.
The projected cut at the time of this post was 3 over, effectively making the 10-shot rule negligible should things remain the same.
If Watson is able to hold on for the win this Sunday, he would become the 17th player in the 78-year history of the Masters to win the tournament more than once.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.