AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) The last two Masters champions won’t be playing on the weekend.
Defending champion Sergio Garcia and 2016 winner Danny Willett missed the 36-hole cut Friday at Augusta National.
Willett finished the second round with consecutive bogeys, missing out by two strokes. He ended up at 7-over 151.
”It’s a bummer,” said Willett, who has dropped to 296th in the world rankings since his Masters victory. ”You talk about luck. Hit a pretty good one on the 18th, gets a bad bounce, goes in the bunker, you get a terrible lie. It’s one of them things that I think if things aren’t going your way, they’re not quite going your way.”
Garcia’s reign was essentially over when he wrote a double-digit number on his scorecard in the opening round Thursday. The Spaniard and new father hit five consecutive balls into the water at the par-5 15th – four of them from less than 100 yards out and with a sand wedge in his hands.
Garcia ended up with an octuplet-bogey 13 that was the highest score posted by any player ever on the hole. Garcia finished with an 81 – the highest score ever shot by a defending champion in the opening round of the Masters.
Garcia seemed to spend much of Friday going through the motions. He struggled to a 78 that included dumping another ball in the water at No. 11 and ended up at 15-over 159.
Garcia will be around to be part of the championship celebration at Butler Cabin, where he will put a green jacket on the 2018 champ.
The only two players who finished below Garcia in the 83-man field were amateurs Matt Parziale and Harry Ellis. Parziale is the 30-year-old firefighter from Station 1 in Brockton, Massachusetts, who took a break from his regular job to tee it up in golf’s first major after winning the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
”I’ve always tried to learn from bad rounds,” Parziale said. ”But it was great playing, competing with these guys. I wish I could have been hanging around. But it was a great week all in all.”
Parziale and Ellis were two of six amateurs in the field. The only one to make the cut was 21-year-odl Doug Ghim, who got in thanks to a runner-up finish in the U.S. Amateur. Ghim was at 4-over 148 after two rounds.
U.S. Amateur champion Doc Redman missed the cut by four strokes.
Bryan is a 28-year-old Augusta resident and former trick-shot artist who made his Masters debut a year after his first tour victory at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina.
Sharma is a 21-year-old from India who also made his Masters debut after receiving a special invitation to the tournament. He got an invite after winning twice on the European Tour in the last four months.
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