Round 2 finds a different course

AUGUSTA -- A little change in the wind, a little change in the pins and Augusta National became a lot tougher on Friday.

As rain washed the smothering pollen off the trees Thursday night, it also brought with it a wind shift from the southeast to the northwest. The new gusts and new holes cut into more punitive spots resulted in just 17 players breaking par on Friday after 31 did so on Thursday. In the second round, the course played 126 strokes harder than it did on Thursday.

"I think the course plays tougher with this northwestern than it does with yesterday's breeze, which is pretty much the opposite," 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman said. "And it was pretty tricky out there."

The wind drastically changed club selection. Players who hit 8-irons for their second shots into the par-5 eighth hole on Thursday were hitting 3-woods on Friday and still had 100 yards of pine straw-speckled fairway to the green. A day after giving up 28 birdies and one eagle, No. 8 allowed just 12 birdies on Friday.

On the first hole, Lucas Glover on Thursday hit a driver and an 8-iron approach. On Friday, with the tees set 15-yards closer, he hit a driver followed by a 6-iron, which he estimated to be a 40-yard difference. Zach Johnson went from an 8-iron approach on Thursday to a 3-iron on Friday.

"You were just standing there and it was pretty calm and now it's blowing," Johnson said. "It just swirls."

Even when the wind stilled, some pin placements were were troublesome enough.

With a tough pin between mounds on the left side of the 14th green, the 440-yard par-4, yielded a double bogey for Lee Westwood and a triple bogey for Yuta Ikeda.

Steve Stricker said he and Ikeda, his playing partner, hit almost identical approaches into 14. They landed a foot apart. Ikeda's rolled off the green, back down the hill, leading to his 7. Stricker made par.

Fourteen wasn't the only pin that had golfers scratching their heads. Flags were tucked into the edges of every green except the 440-yard uphill 17th, which is difficult enough without a challenging placement.

"I know they say they don't change the pin positions," Soren Kjeldsen said. "They say they've got a plan from the start and they don't change them because of low scoring, but they decided it was going to be tough today."

Nevertheless, some golfers said there were chances for low scores. Of course, figuring out how to convert them was the challenge.

"Everybody knows the golf course is very confusing," K.J. Choi said.

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