Francesco Molinari hits from a bunker on the second hole during the second round for the Masters on Friday. Photo: Matt Slocum/AP

AUGUSTA, Georgia – British Open champion Francesco Molinari had five birdies in a five-under par 67 on Friday to seize the clubhouse lead in the second round of the Masters on seven-under 137.

Australia’s Jason Day was homing in on the Italian, back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16, moving him to seven-under for the tournament with two to play, while Dustin Johnson was six-under with three remaining.

Molinari’s nearest rival in the clubhouse was England’s Ian Poulter, who carded a 71 for 139.

Three more players – Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm – were at five-under on the course.

Koepka started the day sharing a one-shot lead with fellow American Bryson DeChambeau.

He slid from the lead with a roller-coaster start that included three birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey in his first eight holes.

DeChambeau, meanwhile, slipped even further back with a bogey at the ninth followed by a double-bogey at the 10th.

Among the late starters, Tiger Woods was even for the day with a birdie and a bogey, while Rory McIlroy was one-over for the day – two-over for the tournament – through four.

AFP