Defending champion Bubba Watson was not giving up his title without a fight today as an incident-packed Masters continued at Augusta National.
Watson made the halfway cut right on the mark of four over par and was the first man out on the course on Saturday morning as he looked to close a 10-shot gap to leader Jason Day.
The left-hander did precisely that thanks to birdies at the first three holes taking him to the turn in 33, while another birdie on the 10th got him back to level par for the tournament.
That was now just one behind world number one Tiger Woods, who had been given a two-shot penalty for taking an incorrect drop during his second round on Friday.
Woods looked to be facing disqualification after therefore signing for an incorrect score, but the tournament rules committee exercised their right to waive disqualification under rule 33-7, as they were “satisfied that the competitor could not reasonably have known or discovered the facts resulting in his breach of the rules”.
That meant Woods’ second round went from a 71 to a 73 and dropped him from three under to one under, five behind Day.
Watson's charge was halted by a double-bogey six on the 11th and another six on the par-five 13th. He did birdie the 15th and 16th but dropped another shot at the last and a round of 70 left him two over par.
South Africa’s Tim Clark was the first player to make an impact at the top of the leaderboard, five birdies in his first seven holes taking him to three under and a share of seventh place.
American Bo van Pelt had birdied the second and third to improve to one under, while England’s Luke Donald remained one under after an opening par.