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Dublin: 0°C Friday 27 November 2020

Jon Rahm joins Johnson and Thomas in five-way tie for Masters lead

Rory McIlroy is six shots off the lead while Shane Lowry is eight behind the front-runners.

Spain's Jon Rahm is in a five-way tie for the lead.
Spain's Jon Rahm is in a five-way tie for the lead.
Image: Chris Carlson

THE TOP THREE players in the world were part of a five-way tie for the lead at the halfway stage as the first November Masters proved well worth the wait.

Spain’s Jon Rahm completed a second round of 66 on Saturday to join world number one Dustin Johnson and number three Justin Thomas on nine under par, with Australia’s Cameron Smith and Mexico’s Abraham Ancer also on the same score.

“I’ve known for a while the guys that have been at nine under par,” Rahm told Sky Sports. “It’s going to be a good weekend.

“I feel like if you’re a golf fan you have some of the top players in the world there and many others playing great golf, so this weekend with good weather, faster greens, it should be fun to watch.”

Rahm immediately moved into a share of the lead when play in the delayed second round resumed on Saturday morning, the world number two holing from short range for birdie on the 13th.

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A good chance to take the outright lead on the 14th went begging and Rahm then looked set to bogey the par-five 15th after opting not to go for the green in two.

The 26-year-old fired his third shot over the green and left his pitch back short of the putting surface, only to promptly chip in for an unlikely par.

Playing alongside Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau had missed his eagle attempt on the 13th when play resumed, but the resulting birdie was his second in succession and was followed by further gains on the 14th and 16th.

However, the US Open champion then bogeyed the last two holes to fall back to level par and faced an anxious wait to see if he would make the cut.

Rory McIlroy’s anxiety eased after he produced a superb round of 66 to move up to a tie for 28th position. He is six off the lead, two shots better off than Shane Lowry, who posted a 69 to take a tie for 44th position.

Graeme McDowell looks set to miss the cut – as he is currently tied for 68th position with two holes to play while amateur James Sugrue is tied for 76th on his first trip to Augusta.

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