Leishman moves into Masters contention on day two

Aussie Marc Leishman is again knocking on Augusta National’s victory door after a five-under par 67 on day two of the 85th Masters.

Leishman brilliantly birdied his opening three holes and then after a lone bogey at 11, he proceeded to birdie three of closing seven in warm conditions at Augusta National.

Marc Leishman Marc Leishman (Credit: PGA Tour)

The 33-year born in rural Victoria and now residing with his family in Virginia Beach will head to round three at five-under par and only two shots behind Englishman Justin Rose.

Rose went into day two leading by four, however the 2016 Olympic Gold Medal winner could only produce a second day 72 to remain a seven under par.

Leishman spoke first of the importance of his brilliant birdie, birdie and birdie start on day two in what is his ninth Masters appearance.

“Yeah, I think it was really important, particularly after my finish yesterday,” he said in referring to bogeying four of his closing 10 holes.

“I got off to a good start yesterday and kind of stumbled home, given the tough conditions. It was obviously disappointing to finish the way I did yesterday, but walking off with easy par, I was pretty happy with.”

“To get off to that start today, get myself a little closer to the lead early on…I knew the greens would firm up, and they did. So, yeah, I was happy with the start and was able to continue it today.”

‘Leish’ went close to Masters victory in 2013 in being just two shots off the lead with a round to play but a second straight level par 72 saw him finish in fourth place and four shots behind fellow Aussie and good friend, Adam Scott

The Victorian then finished 9th four years later behind American Patrick Reed.

Now the 12-time tournament winner is again in contention.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the weekend,” he said.

“This is why I came here. This is the position I wanted to be in. My game’s finally feeling good. It’s the Masters, so yeah, I’m excited for the next two days, but there’s a lot of good shots that have to be hit and a lot of good putts made to give myself a chance going into the back nine on Sunday.

“So hopefully, I can have a good day tomorrow and put myself in that position.”

Cameron Smith also placed himself back into contention with a 4-under 68 leaving him in a share of 13th place and one shot ahead of fellow Aussie Matt Jones.

Adam Scott will have to pull off a miracle tomorrow if he is to get anywhere near the action come Sunday morning. The 2013 Masters champion followed his opening 74 with a 1-over 73 today.

Jason Day missed the cut with a 9-over total.