Fowler, Blixt see Saturday Masters charges derailed

Fredrik Jacobson prepares to tee off from the 11th tee during the second round of the HSBC Champions. Jacobson finished the round at 11 under for the tournament.

Fowler, Blixt see Saturday Masters charges derailed

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Fowler, Blixt see Saturday Masters charges derailed

AUGUSTA, Ga. – For the briefest of moments early Saturday, it was a throwback to 2014 with Rickie Fowler and Jonas Blixt making productive runs. Fowler went out in 33 and birdied 10 and 11 to get to 3 under; Blixt, to the turn in 35, birdied 10, 12 and 13 to get to 6 under.

Just a year ago they were surprise names coming in behind the winner, Bubba Watson; Blixt was joint second, Fowler tied for fifth.

Any thought of pushing into such lofty heights through 54 holes this year, however, came to a screeching halt for both of them. Fowler sandwiched a bogey at the par-4 14th around letdown pars at the par-5 13th and par-5 15th, then finished with a thud: a double bogey at 18. With a round of 70 he is just 1 under and tied for 25th, making a fifth straight top-10 finish in a major unlikely.

Blixt’s steamroll was halted with a double bogey at the par-5 15th, though he settled down with a par, par, par finish and a round of 70. At 4 under, he has a piece of 12th. Though it’s not a position from which he figures to win, securing a top-12 spot would earn him an invite to next year’s Masters.

Though he’s further back, Fowler has designs on a Sunday charge.

“I’m going to need to put a good round together to have a chance to finish in the top 10,” Fowler said, “but it’s going to have to be really good one to get to the top 5.”

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