AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Eager to win another green jacket, Bubba Watson surged to the Masters lead with a spree of birdies on the back side Friday.
Watson, the 2012 champion at Augusta National, sparked the best run of the tournament so far when he stuck his tee shot at No. 12 within 3 feet of the cup. He tapped in for the first of five straight birdies that propelled him to a 4-under 68.
Even after missing a short putt at the 18th and making his second bogey of the tournament, Watson walked off with his second straight round in the 60s, a 36-hole score of 7-under 137, and a three-stroke lead over first-round leader Bill Haas and Jimmy Walker.
"I'm trying to get the jacket back. I'm not the man anymore," Watson said. "I want that feeling again. I want it back."
The left-hander opened with a 3-under 69 and went bogey-free through the first 26 holes, finally stumbling at the ninth. But that bogey was quickly forgotten when Watson put on a dazzling display of the golf that had the patrons roaring. He took advantage of both par 5s, sandwiched around a curling, 40-foot birdie putt at the 14th. He made it five in a row at the par-3 16th, pulling off another magnificent tee shot that rolled up about 4 feet short of the flag.
"I thought it was in," Watson said. "I had a hole-in-one there during the practice rounds."
As it was, he joined David Toms, Gary Player, Geoff Ogilvy and Hale Irwin as the only players to run off nothing but birdies from the 12th to 16th holes.