Bubba leads Senden by three in Masters

Bubba Watson reeled off five consecutive birdies on the back nine en route to a 4-under-par 68 to take a three-stroke lead over John Senden of Australia after two rounds of the 78th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

Watson was at even par for the day before carding birdies from the 12th through 16th holes, reminiscent of the run he made in the final round at Augusta two years ago, when he birdied Nos. 13 to 16 on Sunday and then beat Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa in a playoff.

“It’s never easy,” said Watson, who missed the green on the 18th hole and could not get up-and-down for par. “It’s a great test of golf and I just got some good breaks, some good things that went my way. Guessed the wind right on the stretch of holes on the back nine there.

“That five hole stretch was good. It’s one of those where you’re not focused on what you’re doing, you don’t know that you’re making all these birdies, you’re focused on one shot at a time. At Augusta, that’s what you have to do.”

Senden, who missed the cut in two of his three Masters appearances and tied for 35th last year, bounced back from two bogeys on the first four holes to ring up six birdies and also posted a 68.

Defending champion Adam Scott got up-and-down from the trees and the sand for a closing par to shoot 72 and was tied for third, four shots back, with Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, who had a 68, Jonas Blixt of Sweden, who recorded a 71, and 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, who came with a second 71.

Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, had a second 71 as was tied for seventh with Jim Furyk, who carded a 68, and Jimmy Walker, the FedEx Cup points leader in his first Masters, who shot 72.

Among those who missed the cut, which came at 4-over 148, were Luke Donald at 79-70–149, Sergio Garcia at 74-75–149, Phil Mickelson at 76-73–149, Webb Simpson at 74-75–149, Graeme McDowell at 72-78–150, Zach Johnson at 78-72–150, Dustin Johnson at 77-74–151, Patrick Reed at 73-79–152, Keegan Bradley at 75-78–153 and Jason Dufner at 80-74–154.

Rory McIlroy holed a five-foot par putt on the final hole to make the cut on the number at 71-77–148.

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