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Golf-Rose fades early as Masters lead cut to one

AUGUSTA, Ga. -Twice runner-up Justin Rose saw his overnight Masters lead shrink to one shot midway through his second round on Friday after a shaky start despite more favorable scoring conditions at Augusta National.

Rose, who led by four strokes after an opening 65 that was the lowest round of his career at Augusta National, mixed four bogeys with a birdie to reach the turn at three-over 39 and four under on the week at the year's first major.

The 40-year-old Englishman made bogey at the first hole but quickly responded at the par-five second where he got up and down from 27 yards after his approach shot missed the green.

But Rose went on to add three more bogeys over a four-hole stretch, including at the par-three sixth where he three-putted from 67 feet after his tee shot took an unfortunate roll to the left side of the sloping green.

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, who has never missed a cut in five previous starts at the Masters, was five under on the day through 14 holes and one back of Rose.

Also one shot back of Rose was Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, who had just started his round, and American Brian Harman, who was scheduled to tee off at 1:00 p.m. ET (1700 GMT).

Former champion Jordan Spieth, who arrived at the year's first major fresh off his win last week at the Texas Open and among the favorites, made an early birdie and was two shots back of Rose through four holes.

Unlike the windy conditions that frustrated many top golfers during Thursday's opening round, players returned to Augusta National on Friday to overcast skies and calm conditions that could open the door to lower scoring.

U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who carded an opening 76, was even par through six holes and will likely need to make a move to avoid missing his first major cut since the 2019 British Open.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson, who was 11 shots back of Rose after the first round, was among the late starters.

Also yet to tee off was Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who will need to make a historic comeback after his worst start to the Masters if he hopes to complete the career Grand Slam of golf's four majors this week.

(Writing by Frank Pingue in TorontoEditing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)

Source: Reuters

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