First-round leader Haas slips down leaderboard

AUGUSTA, Georgia Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:47pm EDT

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AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - First-round leader Bill Haas went backwards with one of his shots and on the leaderboard in the second round of the Masters on Friday, stumbling to a 78 to stand nine shots off the pace.

Haas, who led the field after his opening 68, had seven bogeys along with a double-bogey at the 11th, where his tee shot nestled against a tree on the left side and he was forced to hit the ball backhanded into the fairway.

The bad break on one of the toughest holes at Augusta National accelerated a downward that put him at two-over 146, a long way back from 36-hole leader Bubba Watson, the 2012 champion.

"When it was in the air I thought it was going to be in the left rough," said Haas, whose great uncle Bob Goalby won the 1968 Masters and whose father Jay Haas competed in 22 of them.

"It was certainly further left than I wanted, to go up against a tree on a hole where par is a birdie."

Haas, a five-time PGA winner with a Tour Championship title and a FedExCup triumph on his resume, bogeyed the two holes prior to the 11th and the two holes after.

The 31-year-old American stopped the bad streak with back-to-back birdies from the 14th, but closed with bogeys at the last two holes.

"I don't know, it is what it is," said Haas, whose 20th place finish last year was his best result in four Masters.

"A similar feeling like I feel I've felt before coming off 18 here."

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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