Bubba leads Masters at halfway stage

US golfer surges to the top of leaderboard with spree of birdies while Phil Mickelson heads from the Augusta Masters.

Bubba Watson is looking for his second green jacket in three years [Reuters]

Bubba Watson surged to the Masters lead with a spree of birdies on the back side as the 2012 champion at Augusta National pushed his second-round score to eight-under with two holes to play.

The American produced a masterful display on the back nine to grab the outright lead at seven-under-par and hold a three-shot advantage over Australia’s John Senden.

Another four players, including defending champion Adam Scott, were tied for third at three-under on a congested leaderboard.

The Australian battled to a 72 to join Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn (68), Swede Jonas Blixt (71) and American Jordan Spieth (70), the last pair being among the record 24 rookies in the field.

“It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for,” Scott said. “But given everything, I’m absolutely satisfied with that.”

The unflappable Fred Couples, the 1992 champion, finished with a 71 to join Jimmy Walker (72) and Jim Furyk (68) at two-under after Phil Mickelson missed the cut at the Masters for the first time in 17 years after finishing at five-over.

Source: News Agencies