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US Masters: Second round review

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Bubba Watson shot five straight birdies on the back nine as he set the second day of the Masters alight.

The American will take a three-shot lead into the weekend over Australia's John Senden as he hit an impressive four-under 68 to leave him on seven-under at the half-way mark.

Morning conditions favoured Watson with fairly soft and slow greens and he started the day at three-under in a share of second with Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen.

Watson, who won this tournament two years ago but missed the cut last year, played out his first nine holes in even par after a birdie at the seventh was equaled out with a bogey on the ninth.

But Watson soon turned on the style as the 12th hole signaled the start of five consecutive birdies to give the Augusta crowd something to shout about. The round could have been even better for Watson put a missed par putt on the 18th meant the American finished with a bogey.

The 35-year old made it clear what his aims are for the next two days and the world number 12 believes the key to success is to stay calm.

"I'm trying to get the jacket back," Watson told Sky Sports. "I want that feeling again.

"I've been lucky enough to win here. Just got to keep my head down, same thing I've been doing the last two days, try to stay level, not too energized, not too excited."

Dane Thomas Bjorn, Sweden's Jonas Blixt, defending champion Adam Scott and American Jordan Spieth are lurking behind Watson on three-under.

Augusta specialist and 1992 champion Fred Couples is a further shot back on two under as the 54-year-old is looking to become the oldest ever major winner after a 71 second round.

Rory McIlroy, who was the pre-tournament favourite with many bookies, finished just the right side of the cut-line after a second round 77 left him at four-over.

However, it was a bitterly disappointing day for Phil Mickelson after he shot a 73 to go with Thursday's 76 and failed to make the cut. The three-time champion came into Augusta hoping to level the amount of Green Jackets won by Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer.

But the 43-year old encountered a disastrous triple-bogey six at the 12th as he caught the front bunker from his tee shot, ending up in the back bunker from his second shot before sending his third shot back in the original front bunker.

Birdies at 14 and 15 looked to have given Mickelson a chance of making the cut but he struggled on another par-three, the 16th, with a bogey before finishing with another bogey and a par. It represents Mickelson's first missed cut since 1997.

Joining Mickelson as spectators for the weekend are Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia. The former world number one Donald shot a two-under on Friday but it couldn't make up for his seven-over opening day score.

Garcia's search for a major continues as he also finished on five-over after two days. The Spaniard's three-over on Friday saw the world number six fail to make the cut. 

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US Masters

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