Thursday's leader Charley Hoffman has some company after 36 holes. Defending champion Danny Willett missed the cut, as did two-time champion Bubba Watson.
American Charley Hoffman could not keep the four-stroke lead in golf's premier event after Thursday's play, shooting five bogeys in the middle of Friday's second round at the . Hoffman's gaffes allowed three others to gain ground and force a four-way tie at four-under-par going in to Saturday.
"I made a few errors," said Hoffman. "All in all it's not that bad. I like where I'm at, which is all you can ask for.
Spain's Sergio Garcia, looking for his first major win in 73 starts, started Friday with three straight birdies before adding three bogeys through hole 13. Garcia finished strong with birdies on holes 15 and 17 for a 69 and a share of the lead.
Belgium's Thomas Pieters, a first timer at Augusta, was bogey-free for the last 17 holes and hit an eagle on hole 13. With three more birdies, Pieters shot a 68 and earned a tie for the lead. Pieters is trying to become the first Masters debutante to win the tournament since 1979.
American Rickie Fowler is also four-under, smashing a 67 in the second round. Fowler hit four birdies and an eagle to just one bogey to move up for a share of the leader board.
This is the highest amount of players tied for the lead at Augusta National since 1973. High winds frustrated many of the players as just nine players are under par going into Saturday.
Defending champion Danny Willett hopefully brought his green jacket with him, as he will have to leave it in Augusta come Sunday. Willet missed the over-six cut by one stroke. Willett started Friday with a quadruple bogey on hole one and could not find his groove the rest of the way. Willett shot three more bogeys for a 78. Willett becomes the first defending Masters champion to miss a cut since 2004.
Bubba Watson, who donned the green jacket twice, will not get a third after missing the cut. German Martin Kaymer is two-over-par after Friday, and fellow German Bernhard Langer missed the cut.
kbd/kl (AFP, AP)