Masters Round 2 takeaways: Scheffler, DeChambeau, Homa share 36-hole lead

AUGUSTA, Ga. — It was a windy, gusty Friday at Augusta National for the second round of the Masters.

It’s a three-way tie atop the leaderboard heading into the weekend with Scottie Scheffler, Bryson DeChambeau and Max Homa all at 6-under-par.

DeChambeau, who was the 18-hole leader, shot a second-round 73. He is searching for his second major championship this weekend.

Scheffler shot even par in his second round. The 2022 Masters champion is also searching for his second major after victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship in 2024.

Then there’s Homa, who continued his brilliant play after his first round Thursday was suspended due to darkness. After playing 23 holes Friday, Homa shot a second-round 71, putting himself in contention to win his first major.

Tiger Woods shot a second-round 72 and made a record 24th cut at the Masters. Woods also played 23 holes on Friday after completing his first round in the morning.

Our writers in Augusta give their thoughts on the day’s events.

DeChambeau in lead with new custom-made irons

One of the stories of the tournament has been not just DeChambeau’s impressive play — where he co-leads at 6-under par — but also his fascinating switch to a new set of custom-made, 3D-printed irons that were only approved by the USGA this week.

The approval was down to the wire, with DeChambeau receiving feedback last week they’d be non-conforming due to too sharp of groove edges. He didn’t receive full approval of the set made by a company called Avoda until early Tuesday morning. Despite the Masters being 48 hours away, he switched to them immediately and felt comfortable by the end of Wednesday. Thursday, he shot a first-round 65 for the solo lead.

“They have just got a different curvature on the face than other equipment,” Dechambeau explained. “Most equipment is flat. These have a different curvature on the face that allows me to have my mis-hits to go a little straighter sometimes.”

DeChambeau has had the idea for these irons since 2020, and when asked if he couldn’t find a manufacturer to make them he only said: “I’m not going to speak much more on that but I’ve had this idea for a long, long time.”

The set is one of a kind, with DeChambeu confirming there is no backup set. He said they’re holding up well, but if anything did happen to them he would switch back to his Ping i330s that he’s been using since July. It’s worth noting that since July, DeChambeau has had two LIV wins and four straight top-10s. — Brody Miller, staff golf writer

Max Homa overcomes major demons

Homa is the No. 11 golfer in the world, but the 33-year-old star has never so much as put himself in contention in a major championship. That’s not an exaggeration. He’s never been higher than T11 at the 36-hole mark of a major, and even then he was nine shots back. Only twice his entire career has he entered the third round better than 35th.

He’ll enter Saturday tied for the lead for the Masters.

As The Athletic wrote about in depth, Homa has broken through his issues to shoot 6-under through two rounds at Augusta. He rode a hot putting day in a Round 1 to get to 5-under, but Friday was about discipline in these howling winds. He didn’t chase or get too aggressive. He took his medicine when he made mistakes. And ultimately he’s the only one of the three leaders (Homa, Scheffler and Bryson DeChambeau) to shoot Round 2 under par.

Homa might not be good at being in the mix at majors, but he’s actually a clutch golfer. He’s thrived at the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. He’s won huge tournaments at Riviera, Torrey Pines and Quail Hollow with dominant Sunday performances. He steps up in big moments. Time to find out if he does late in a major. — Miller

LIV has 8 make the cut

DeChambeau is certainly doing most of the heavy lifting for the LIV field as he sits at 6-under for the co-lead, but LIV brought 13 golfers to the Masters and eight made the cut. It might not be looking like the same success as three golfers finishing top four last year, yet multiple players are still in the mix.

DataGolf gives DeChambeau a 23 percent chance of winning the Masters, while Cam Smith sits at 1-under par at the halfway point. Smith is one of the better players at Augusta, with four top-10s here in the last five years. Patrick Reed, another Masters expert who won the green jacket in 2018, is T16 at even par.

Other LIV golfers to make the cut include Brooks Koepka (+2), Tyrell Hatton (+2), Joaquin Niemann (+4), Phil Mickelson (+4) and Jon Rahm (+5). Rahm, the defending Masters champ, shot 76 in round two to take himself out of contention but still make the cut. Meanwhile, 2020 Masters champ Dustin Johnson missed out at 13-over. — Miller

Who missed the cut?

The wind was punishing Friday, seemingly eliminating stars in a matter of seconds with one blowup hole being enough to derail a round. Double bogey became a common score to see, like reigning Open Champion Brian Harman (+9) finishing his first round Friday morning by going triple-bogey, double-bogey, double-bogey.

Maybe the most painful missed cut was Justin Thomas. The two-time major winner was even par with four holes to go, but he double-bogeyed 15 and 16, bogeyed 17 and double-bogeyed 18 to miss the cut by losing seven shots in four holes.

Viktor Hovland was one of the best players in the world six months ago, but his fascinating, strange struggles continue as Hovland went from 4-under early Thursday to shooting an 81 in round two to drop to 8-over and miss out on the weekend.

Others to miss the cut include three-time major winner Jordan Spieth (+9), Wyndham Clark (+7), Sam Burns (+9) and Dustin Johnson (+13). — Miller

Required reading

(Photo: Warren Little / Getty Images)

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