Another Australian has found himself among the leaders at Augusta National, and it’s John Senden.
After an opening round 72, Senden entered the second round four strokes back of the then-leader Bill Haas. His second round 68 has him right in the thick of things. Senden got off to a stagnant start, going one over in his first four holes, but he was able to survive the first seven holes at Augusta, which played significantly harder today than yesterday.
Senden did his damage from holes 8-18. He methodically worked his way up the leaderboard by picking up one shot through Amen Corner and taking advantage of the Par-5 15th. In all, Senden recorded six birdies on a day when the majority of the field struggled. He had it all working today. After a wayward drive on the Par-4 18th left him around 240 yards out for his second shot, he was able to maneuver his way around to salvage par on the finishing hole to avoid a back-nine blemish.
He will find himself in one of the final groups on Saturday, sitting three strokes behind the leader Bubba Watson.
Senden is one of the best pure ball-strikers on the PGA Tour, and while he hasn’t had much success on tour, he did win earlier this year at the Valspar Championship. The problem with Senden has always been his putting, which would explain why his record at the Masters is awful. Before this year, Senden only made the cut once, and that was in 2013.
But his putting has improved dramatically this year. Senden currently ranks 18th on tour in putting strokes gained with .513. That number is a career high.
With the recent string of Australian success around the world, Senden could be the second Aussie in a row to don the green jacket.