The Masters
The Masters
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Ollie finds Masters touch again
Langer in contention following 66
Olazabal taking control late on day two
The Shark is back to tie lead in 2nd round

Greg Norman, whose game collapsed in spectacular fashion the last time he led at Augusta National, shot a 4-under 68 today to move into a tie for the early second-round lead in the Masters.

After opening with his only bogey of the day on the first hole, Norman played flawless golf, making five birdies to get to 5-under after two rounds.

Lee Janzen birdied the 18th for a 69 to join Norman at 139, while Scott McCarron was at 5-under through seven holes.

"I'm glad I'm here," Norman said. "I'm glad I'm playing well. I'm getting myself back into the groove of things."

A host of big names were just behind. Former Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and former PGA champion Davis Love III were at 4-under heading tot he back nine, while Nick Price took bogey on the par-5 15th to fall back to 3-under.

David Duval was at 2-under until he took a triple bogey on the 15th and fell to 1-over.

Tiger Woods was even par after six holes, joining a group of 27 golfers within five shots of the lead.

Norman's opening 71 on Thursday was his first round under par in the Masters since he shot a 78 and blew a six-shot lead to Nick Faldo in the 1996 event. He missed the cut the last two years.

Not much was expected of him this year, either. He was coming off shoulder surgery and had played sporadically, missing last week's BellSouth Classic tuneup when he came down with stomach flu.

But on a windy and cool day, he shot a 34 on the front nine, then added birdies at Nos. 12 and 13 before parring in for a 139 total.

After knocking a pitch shot inches from the hole on 13 for a birdie 4, Norman got a standing ovation from the gallery in the bleachers surrounding the green after he tapped in and walked toward the tee on 14.

"That was a special shot," Norman said. "The gallery was phenomenal."

Twelve players returned to the course today to complete a first round that was suspended by storms, then cut short because of darkness.

Price tapped in for par to complete his first round in a tie with Love, McCarron and Masters newcomer Brandel Chamblee.

Duval also completed his first round with a par to finish with a 71. He and Price then headed toward the clubhouse, their second round tee time a little more than an hour away.

Conditions that have changed almost hourly since play began Thursday were markedly different today, with brisk winds blowing down the 18th fairway as Price, Duval and 10 others who failed to finish a day earlier began play again.

If anyone needed reminding of the dangers of Augusta National's hard, fast greens and tricky pin placements, all they needed to do was look at Duval, the world's hottest golfer, losing his share of the lead Thursday with back-to-back-to-back bogeys on the back nine.

As his game came apart -- though ever so briefly -- the wraparound shades that are Duval's trademark came off his head as menacing clouds rolled in to force a storm delay.

By the time Duval walked off the 17th green Thursday, he had regained some composure but others had the lead. Meanwhile, the stately course with some new makeup showed it was indeed capable of still holding its own.

"On a course like this you run into some bad stuff," Duval said. "You try to outweigh it with the good stuff."

A day earlier, workers were watering greens between groups to keep closely cropped surfaces from burning out in 90-degree heat. Then a storm came, forcing a 95-minute delay in play.

Players had the chance to regroup overnight, then tackle the chore once again. They could only hope to sleep well, without the thoughts of tight pins and shaved greens that can make matters so difficult.

"There's a lot of decisions out there and a lot of mental strain when you play this course," said Montgomerie, one of those in the group at 70. "It's very difficult. Very difficult."

Just how difficult was evident, as players went on roller-coaster rides down the wide fairways and through the tall pines.

Woods made a triple-bogey 8 on the eighth hole, then regrouped with three straight back-nine birdies to finish the day even par. Vijay Singh was also even, though he made only one par in his last 10 holes.

Ernie Els was cruising toward the clubhouse with a share of the lead when he found two bunkers and then needed three putts for a double bogey on the last hole to finish at 71.

"As soon as you relax, you drop a shot," Montgomerie said.

The 63rd rendition of golf's most exclusive major featured the most sweeping changes in course history -- added rough along the fairways and lengthened second and 17th holes.

But there were no changes in the hugely undulating greens, and that was where Augusta National made its stand to defend par once again. Masters officials helped by tucking pins in positions rarely seen the first day of the tournament and swirling winds cost some other shots.

"The greens are firm and fast, and there's some really hard pins," Love said.

Chamblee, Love and McCarron, playing within four groups of each other, posted their scores in quick succession on a day when the first threesomes used in the Masters since 1962 slowed play considerably.

Then Duval came out for his afternoon round and quickly birdied two of his first three holes and was tied for the lead after two-putting for birdie on No. 8. But the four-time winner this year, usually a model of consistency, hit it over the green on 12 for a bogey, put it in a creek on 13 for another and missed the green short on 14 after the rain delay for a third straight.

"Golf doesn't involve nine holes," Duval said. "It involves both sides."