Former champions Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson paired in Masters chase

AUGUSTA, Ga. – After getting bounced around a bit over Augusta National’s back nine, Jordan Spieth fought back on Friday, coming home in 3-under 33 to give himself a shot at a second green jacket this weekend at the 81st Masters.

“It was a really good day today at Augusta National,” said Spieth, who shot 3-under 69 to break a string of four over-par rounds at Augusta. He moved to even-par 144 after two rounds. His previous two Augusta National back nines: 41 as he squandered a five-shot lead in 2016, and 39 on Thursday, as he made yet another quadruple bogey, this one on the usually friendly par-5 15th, where he knocked two balls in the water.

But Friday, his back-nine troubles all seemed to be in his past. Spieth is four shots behind co-leaders Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Charley Hoffman and Thomas Pieters, and will have ample opportunity to close the gap on the weekend. Spieth was one of only seven players to shoot in the 60s on Friday.

“I’m very pleased with the second round of this Masters and we’re in a position now where we, I think, can go out there and win this thing, and certainly make a run,” he said.

Fowler, Garcia, Hoffman and Pieters share…

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