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Posted April 08, 2017 06:04 pm
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Four tied for the lead at the halfway mark

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    Four tied for the lead at the halfway mark
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    Sergio Garcia hits his tee shot on #4 during the second round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Friday, April 7, 2017, in Augusta, Georgia. (SARA CORCE/STAFF)

On a windy second round at the Masters Tournament, four players found themselves tied at the top.

With 36 holes to go, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Pieters, Charley Hoffman and Rickie Fowler all are tied at 4-under-par 140. They lead the field by two shots.

Garcia, the 37-year-old Spaniard making his 19th Masters appearance, birdied the first three holes en route to 69 in the second round. After making a pair of bogeys early on the second nine, he closed with birdies on two of the final four holes.

Hoffman, who entered the day with a four-shot lead after opening with 65, ran into trouble on the front nine. Starting at No. 6, he bogeyed five of the next six holes. He recovered with a birdie at the par-5 13th and posted five pars in a row to finish at 75.

Pieters, who led at 5-under through 10 in the first round, began the round at even. The Belgian birdied No. 9, recorded an eagle at No. 13 and then followed with another birdie at No. 14.

Fowler is making up for missing the Masters cut last year. He blasted out of the front bunker for eagle at No. 2 and added four other birdies against one bogey.

First-time Masters participant William McGirt remained steady with 73. He is alone in fifth place at 2-under.

The 57-year-old Fred Couples turned back the clock with his 70. After almost holing his second shot at No. 18, he tapped in for birdie to move to 1-under 143. Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, is tied with Ryan Moore (69), Jon Rahm (70) and Justin Rose (72).

Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champ, bounced back from an opening 75 with 69. He is tied at even-par 144 with a pair of Masters champions in Jordan Spieth (69) and Phil Mickelson (73).

Two amateurs survived the cut. Stewart Hagestad, the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur winner, shot 73 and is tied for 19th at 3-over 147. Curtis Luck, the reigning U.S. Amateur champ, shot 72 to make the cut on the number at 6-over 150.

Several big names missed the cut, including Danny Willett. He posted rounds of 73-78 and became the first defending Masters champion since Mike Weir in 2004 to miss the cut the year after donning the green jacket. Willett recorded a quadruple-bogey 8 on the first hole of the second round and never recovered.

Henrik Stenson, the No. 5 player in the world, also slammed his trunk failed to make weekend play after rounds of 77-75.

Several former Masters champions failed to didn’t advance to Saturday. Zach Johnson shot 77-74. Bubba Watson followed an opening 74 with 78.

U.S. Ryder Cup hero Patrick Reed shot 76-77 to miss the cut, while Englishman Tyrrell Tyrell Hatton also departed after rounds of 80-78.