The world No. 1 player and reigning Masters champion Dustin Johnson bogeyed three of his final four holes on day two and missed the cut by two shots, joining the likes of Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood missing out on the weekend action. Justin Rose stills leads, but that has narrowed to one shot ahead of Will Zalatoris and Brian Harman.
Johnson is the 11th defending champion to miss the 36-hole cut; it has happened 12 previous times, with Seve Ballesteros doing it twice.
But this weekend the only official appearance Johnson will make at Augusta National is draping the green jacket over the shoulders of the Masters champion on Monday morning NZ Time.
“Obviously, I wanted to be around for the weekend,” Johnson said. “I like this golf course. I feel like I play it very well. I just didn’t putt very good. It’s pretty simple.
Johnson was the biggest — though hardly the only big name — to drop out.
Lee Westwood’s streak of 12 consecutive cuts at the Masters appearances is over; he was 5 over. So is Rory McIlroy’s run of 10 consecutive times playing the weekend at Augusta National; he was 6 over and his quest to complete the career Grand Slam will wait until 2022 at least. And Brooks Koepka is going home early for the first time in six Masters appearances.
The top 50 players and ties make the cut at the Masters; this year, that was 3 over, or 10 shots back of leader Justin Rose.
Justin Rose was happy enough to still have the lead, even if only by a fraction on a day when Augusta National was more forgiving and he had to rally just to shoot par.
Rose started with four bogeys and a birdie in the first seven holes before rallying with three late birdies to hold on to his 7-under overnight score.
The two players right behind had reason to be thrilled just to be at the Masters.
One of them was Brian Harman, barely inside the top 100 in the world a month ago until two good weeks changed his fortunes. The other was 24-year-old Will Zalatoris, who recently was playing on the Korn Ferry Tour and doesn’t have a full PGA TOUR card.
“I wanted to be here my entire life,” Zalatoris said after birdies on his last three holes for a 4-under 68.
“Some people shy away from that, but I’m excited to be here. There’s no reason to feel intimidated now. I made it to here. And obviously, the job is not done by any means.”
The job is over for defending champion Dustin for everyone else, it’s just getting started.
Ten players were within three shots of Rose, who had a 72 and was at 7-under 137. That group included former Masters champion Jordan Spieth, who is coming off a victory last week in the Valero Texas Open and is starting to look like the Spieth of old, even at age 27.
“Having made a triple and five-over-par holes through two rounds, I feel pretty good about being at 5 under,” Spieth said after a 68.
Coverage of the Masters continues on Sky Sport on Sunday morning.