Masters 2012 Leaderboard: Phil Mickelson and Top Contenders to Rally on Saturday

Thad NovakCorrespondent IApril 7, 2012

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 05: Phil Mickelson reacts during the first round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 5, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As the third day of action at Augusta gets underway, the Masters leaderboard is still crowded at the top. Even with seven golfers within one stroke of the lead, though, it’s much too early to count out the competitors who start the day a few shots behind.

This trio has the best chance to make a run at leaders Jason Dufner and Fred Couples on Day 3.


Phil Mickelson

The lingering effects of a weak first round have Lefty at -2, three shots off the pace. However, considering that he rebounded to shoot a brilliant 68 in yesterday’s action, Mickelson looks like the best pick to make another steep climb up today’s leaderboard.

It goes without saying that the three-time Masters champ knows how to handle this course, and his opening-round 74 appears to have been an aberration rather than any indicator of a real problem with his game this week. Look for Mickelson to shave another few strokes off his score and challenge for the top spot on the leaderboard heading into Sunday.


Sean O’Hair

Although he comes into Saturday’s action four shots off the lead, O’Hair looked to have found his touch yesterday. He shaved three strokes off his first-round score to finish at a very respectable two-under for the round.

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06:  Sean O'Hair of the United States lines up his putt on the second green during the second round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

O’Hair has been able to hang with the leaders at Augusta before, logging a 10th-place finish three years ago. Don’t be surprised to see him make another push for the top 10 this weekend.


Justin Rose

Rose entered the tournament hot, having won the WGC-Cadillac Championship last month. He’s played right at par in each of the first two rounds, sitting five shots off the pace as he tees off today.

Rose played more aggressively in yesterday’s round, logging three bogeys but racking up as many birdies to go with them. If he can catch a couple of breaks today, he could easily find himself within striking distance of the lead heading into Sunday.