Masters 2017: A lookahead to Saturday with four players tied atop leaderboard

Fowler, Garcia, Pieters and Hoffman all share the lead midway through the Masters.

With a host of big names lining a packed leaderboard, the 2017 Masters is primed for plenty of drama this weekend at Augusta National.

Rickie Fowler and Thomas Pieters shot great rounds Friday afternoon to join Sergio Garcia and Charley Hoffman atop the leaderboard entering the weekend. While all four are searching for their first majors, they will have to fend off a host of wily veterans lurking behind them.

Here are the top Masters contenders heading into the weekend:

Sergio Garcia (-4) — The 37-year-old Spaniard is one of the best players still without a major championship. His putting can be a problem, but he's rolling the ball nicely right now. Garcia took advantage of Thursday and Friday's windy conditions by utilizing his low ball flight. He can also make birdies in bunches, which will come in handy with calm weather forecasted this weekend.

Charley Hoffman (-4) — Hoffman had a five-shot lead at one point Friday, but five bogeys in six holes curtailed his round. Hoffman has had some success here before, so he should be a contender over the weekend if he can calm his nerves.

Thomas Pieters (-4) — The Belgian Bomber got off to a quick start Thursday by jumping out to 5 under through 10 holes, but he fell all the way back to 1 over after bogeying the first hole Friday. Pieters regained his form Friday with three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 13th hole to grab a share of the lead heading into the weekend.

Rickie Fowler (-4) — Fowler will be one of the favorites over the weekend. The affable star is still searching for his first major championship victory despite building a glowing resume already in his young career. The weather should be docile over the weekend, which means Fowler will likely have to stay aggressive and make birdies.

Others in contention:

William McGirt (-2)

Justin Rose (-1)

Jon Rahm (-1)

Fred Couples (-1)

Ryan Moore (-1)

Adam Scott (E)

Phil Mickelson (E)

Jordan Spieth ( E)

Rory McIlroy (+1)

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