Phil Mickelson / Getty ImagesIt's Masters week and there are a ton of stories going on all at once, so in an effort to condense things for you a bit, here are five things we learned from Friday's second round.
You can never count out Phil Mickelson — If there's one thing we've learned over the years when it comes to Phil at the Masters, it's that you should never count him out. One day after he had to grind out a 2-over 74 that included a triple-bogey on the 10th hole, Mickelson promised he'd get things in order before his second round ... and he did. With his second birdie of the week on the 18th hole, Lefty posted an impressive 4-under 68 that has him sitting at 2-under for the tournament going into the weekend. If he could just hit a couple greens and keep the scrambling to a minimum, he'd really be in a great position right now. He has the putter to thank (he's leading the field with just 51 putts through 36 holes) for keeping him within striking distance of the leaders.
Give Jason Dufner some credit for the way he's playing — On a leaderboard crowded with names like Couples, Westwood, Garcia, McIlroy and Watson, a guy like Jason Dufner can definitely get lost in the weeds. Despite being tied for the lead at 5-under, nobody's giving this guy a chance — especially after watching him choke away the lead at the PGA Championship last year. But before you cross his name off the list of potential major winners, remember that this tournament has a way of turning relative unknowns into stars ... like Charl Schwartzel and Trevor Immelman. Dufner has been there before and never seems to get nervous when the pressure mounts. That could change on Sunday if he's leading or a couple shots off the pace, but when a guy puts himself in a position to win in consecutive majors, you have to give him a little respect.
The cream rises to the top — Tiger Woods might be out of it, but just take a look at that beautiful Masters leaderboard. It includes names like Garcia, McIlroy, Westwood, Couples and Mickelson, to name a few. There's some serious star power on that board, folks. The talk coming into the week was this was the most highly-anticipated Masters in tournament history and with so many big names in contention, there's a good chance it could actually live up to the hype.Read More »from Five things we learned from the second round of the Masters