AUGUSTA, Ga., Nov 14 (Reuters) - Spanish world number two Jon Rahm moved into a tie for the lead in the delayed second round of the Masters on Saturday, taking advantage of ideal morning conditions to shoot a six-under-par 66.
Rahm, at 26 primed to win a major championship was among 48 players who resumed the round at 7.30 a.m. at Augusta National as the tournament scurried to get back on schedule after Thursday’s long break for bad weather.
Resuming with a birdie putt at the 13th, Rahm stroked it home on the smooth green, and helped later by a chip-in at the par-five 15th, parred in for the second lowest score of the round.
On a packed leader board, he joined Americans Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, Australian Cameron Smith and Mexican Abraham Ancer at nine-under 135 on a packed leader board.
Five others were one stroke behind, while defending champion and five-times winner Tiger Woods (71) was four back.
Pre-tournament favourite Bryson DeChambeau (74) made the cut with nothing to spare, nine shots back after bogeying the final two holes.
He said afterwards he had been feeling “weird” and took a coronavirus test on Friday night as a precaution. It came back negative.
Rahm, meanwhile, had plenty of time to contemplate his first putt of the day, after opting not to putt it when play was halted by darkness on Friday.
“I didn’t want to end the day on the wrong note. I wasn’t sure on the read I had,” he said.
“I came out today and it felt like a different putt with the greens being a lot faster.”
Rahm gave compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal, a two-times Masters champion, a shout-out for helping his short game.
His sharpness showed at the 15th where, after misjudging his third shot and sending it hurtling over the green, he was in danger of running up a big number.
He misjudged his 20-yard pitch, but more than made amends by then calmly chipping from half that distance.
“Let’s just say he saved me a couple of shots,” Rahm said of Olazabal.
The third round is scheduled to start at about 10.30 a.m. local time, by which time a morning chill in the air should have given way to a pleasant autumn warmth. The round should be completed by day’s end. (Reporting by Andrew Both)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.