DeChambeau weathers blustery second day at Masters as Johnson blows his top

<span>Bryson DeChambeau was eight under at one point but dropped shots on the 14th and 18th in tough conditions.</span><span>Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters</span>
Bryson DeChambeau was eight under at one point but dropped shots on the 14th and 18th in tough conditions.Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

It was a day so fiendishly demanding it reduced even the mild-mannered Zach Johnson to profanity.

Johnson’s stock with American golf galleries is not particularly high after he captained the country to Ryder Cup defeat in Rome last autumn. There was audible mocking as Johnson tapped in for a triple bogey at the 12th. “Fuck off!” came the Johnson utterance. What would Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, Augusta National’s founders, make of this tawdry scene?

Related: Wincing Tiger Woods endures his marathon to make Masters history

Johnson later branded the suggestion he would swear at spectators as “laughable.” He said: “If I’ve said anything, which I’m not going to deny, especially if it’s on camera, one, I apologise, and two, it was fully directed towards myself entirely because I can’t hear anything behind me. Does that make sense?” Not to the court of social media, one assumes.

Johnson was one of umpteen simply having a bad day. He has missed the cut. So, too, have Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Justin Rose. Spieth took nine shots at the 15th when completing his first round early on Friday morning. Dustin Johnson’s rounds of 78 and 79 continued his slide towards oblivion.

In stiff winds spectators chased errant hats across Augusta National. Competitors pursued birdies that were seriously difficult to come by. Majors are never supposed to be plain sailing but the 88th Masters is undoubtedly a war of attrition. That has been reflected in the glacial pace of play.

“This is as difficult as I’ve ever played it,” said Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 champion. “I thought I had 81 impossible shots today.”

Tiger Woods relished the grind. Plus ça change. The 48-year-old set a tournament record of 24 consecutive cuts made but barely seemed bothered by this piece of history. Woods, who is one over par, immediately fixed his eyes on winning what would be a sixth Green Jacket. “We’ve got a chance,” said Woods. He is perfectly correct; anybody who has survived for the closing 36 of this Masters can have legitimate aspirations of glory.

A birdie at the 13th had moved Bryson DeChambeau to eight under. That was as good as it got for the comeback kid. DeChambeau erred at the 14th and 18th, thereby tying Max Homa at minus six. Scottie Scheffler was still ploughing through the closing stages of his round as DeChambeau and Homa addressed the media. Scheffler will be content with a 72 which ensures a three-way tie. On current form and past glory here, he is unquestionably the man to beat.

Rory McIlroy, playing alongside Scheffler, was regressing as shadows lengthened. The Northern Irishman’s 77 meant he squeezed into the weekend by two as the cut fell at the wildly high six over. Justin Thomas was not so lucky; he played the last four in plus seven and required a flight ticket home. McIlroy must somehow pull on memories of winning from 10 adrift before. Jon Rahm, the defending champion, is one stroke worse off than McIlroy at halfway. Moving day promises fireworks.

Homa’s thoughts were directed towards Woods, with whom he played the first 36 holes. This group was among those who returned on Friday morning to complete round one because of a weather delay on Thursday. “It was awesome,” Homa said. “It really is a dream to get to play with him here.

Related: Tyrrell Hatton angry over ‘brutal’ slow play of former Masters champion

“I always wanted to just watch him hit iron shots around here and I was right up next to him. It was really cool. His short game was so good. I don’t think I can explain how good some of the chip shots he hit today were. He’s special.

“His iron play is so good that even when he did miss the green, you could tell he had so much control. And on 18, we had sandblasts for 45 seconds, I turned around five times so I didn’t get crushed in the face. He’s standing there like a statue and then poured it right in the middle of the hole.”

A key upward mover was Ludvig Åberg. The prodigious Swede, playing in his first major, added a 69 to his earlier 73 to move to two under par. Åberg was frustrated only by a dropped shot at the 18th. As DeChambeau did likewise, Åberg was within four of the clubhouse lead. His ability to look perfectly at home in new environments is the most striking thing about him; Åberg is highly unlikely to be fazed by his weekend surroundings.

“No one deserves anything in golf,” the 24-year-old said. “All I try to do is hit the golf shots as good as I can and take it from there. Obviously I consider myself very fortunate to be able to play here. I’m just trying to really soak it in.” These words belie Åberg’s status.

Collin Morikawa sits quietly at minus three. Nicolai Højgaard was six under before dropping shots on each of his final two holes. “I hate shooting over par,” said the Dane following his 73. “Especially when you’re after something good and you end up making a couple of mistakes at the end. It feels pretty good in general, the game. I am just very disappointed how I made some silly mistakes on the last couple of holes.” He was in illustrious company.