AUGUSTA — Kevin Kisner's Friday at Augusta National Golf Club included run-ins with casual water, rules officials, security personnel, even a rogue turtle.
His second round at the Masters didn't include as many made putts as the first, when he led the field in putting, but he made two late birdies to get back to 2 under and is safely into the weekend for the fourth time in four appearances after a second-round 73.
Bogeys at 6, 9 and 11 dropped Kisner to even par for the tournament after Thursday's 69, but he hit the 15th green in two and two-putted for birdie and then attacked the back-right pin position on 16 for another birdie. He parred in from there and is five shots off the lead through 36 holes.
"You know, I was so frustrated out there on 15. I hit a few good shots that didn't work out, so I hit that one as good as a I could and I told Duane (Bock, his caddie) in the air, 'That's as good as I've got. I don't care anymore,'" Kisner said of his cut 5-wood from 244 yards. "And it went to 12 feet.
"Then birdieing 16 to that pin is a really good shot – nobody's really trying to get up there, and I absolutely flushed it and it worked out. It gets me back somewhat in the hunt. If they don't run away, I've got a low one in me if I can keep hitting the golf ball the way I'm hitting it."
An eventful Friday was at least a dry one for Kisner, with the morning rain ending just in time for him to step onto the first tee.
He bogeyed the par-3 sixth hole after going long and left off the tee into a muddy area, then had a disagreement with a rules official about where he could drop without remaining in casual water.
His bogey on 9 to turn in 38 came after his second shot went long and came to rest on the security guard – "I told him he that he was pretty worthless for not kicking it back onto the green for me," Kisner joked – and then their group was approached on 11 by another rules official warning that the group in front of them had been put on the clock and they needed to keep pace.
Kisner made bogey there to drop back to even, then was thinking albatross on 13 before his ball came up short. Still, he saved par after making the type of clutch up-and-down that kept his first round intact late Thursday.
"When I hit my shot on 13 I thought I made a 2, and I made a 5," he said. "So that's what Augusta does to you."
That was the case more than once Friday. Kisner said he was going over some iron shots after the round with Bock and could think of four that he thought were perfect in the air and didn't work out.
For the second consecutive day, though, he was strong down the stretch. He's played holes 13-18 in 5 under and has been bogey-free over that stretch.
The runaway turtle came to visit the group on 16 after being chased off the green while they were waiting to tee off. It returned as they putted – "I think he moseyed off by the time we finished. He didn't know what was going on," Kisner said.
Now it's on to the weekend for Kisner, who said last year he's not coming to Augusta National just to make cuts. He wants to contend, and this year he's in the hunt and heading into the weekend under par for the first time at the Masters.