AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The odd thing about Jordan Spieth's Masters so far is that he has not been propelled by the adrenaline of chasing history in an awe-inspiring setting. Just the opposite. The darnedest part is that, even though he is a mere 21 and in only his second try here, Spieth has been completely comfortable.
"I haven't really felt nervous, I've felt in a good place," he said after he shot 6-under-par 66 Friday to finish 36 holes at Augusta National at 14 under, a record in this event and tied for the best score at the halfway point of any major.
His total of 130 was one better than the mark set by Ray Floyd in 1976, when he was halfway to an eight-stroke victory. "It's cool. Any time you can set a record here, it is pretty awesome," said Spieth, the young Texan who finished second in his first Masters last year.
Despite a bogey-free round and regardless of having made 15 birdies in two days and holding a five-stroke lead over Charley Hoffman, Spieth insisted that he is just playing normally: each hole, each shot, one by one. "I wasn't trying to make a statement or reach a certain point. I didn't know what any of these scores meant in history or anything like that," he said.
Spieth was trying to get one more birdie on No. 18, only to see his 7-foot putt slide by. He had made so many -- a dazzling total of 50 putts in 36 holes -- that he was surprised it didn't go in. It was just a misread, he said, not a big problem. "I have felt very comfortable this week," he said.
His ball-striking was even better than it had been when he shot 64 Thursday. This time, he birdied all four par-5s, which is considered the greatest key to winning at Augusta. The highlight Friday was the way he played No. 8.
He drove into the lip of the right fairway bunker and could do nothing but hack the ball out, about 20 yards. Then he hit a hybrid 228 yards to within 3 feet of the hole, prompting Micah Fugitt, caddie for playing companion Billy Horschel to say, "Man, that was good, even for you."
Henrik Stenson, the other member of the group, said of Spieth, "He's definitely an old head on young shoulders, isn't he?"
It was an extraordinary day, by many measures. Tiger Woods, coming back from a hiatus to work on his game, shot a solid 3-under 69 to get to 2 under. Rory McIlroy, winner of the previous two majors, shot 40 on the front but recovered with 5-under 31 on the back and climbed all the way to 2 under.
Dustin Johnson became the first to make three eagles in one Masters round (all on par 5s; he birdied the other one) and is at 7 under.
Hoffman, at 9 under, had a score that would have led 13 of the previous 20 Masters. "It's this year. It's not any other year," he said. "I'm just playing golf and I've only played 36 holes and we've got a lot of golf left."
"Anybody in this field who's playing well is capable of possibly shooting 14 under the last two rounds," Spieth said, adding he planned to hang out with family and friends Friday night.
The one disruption in a smooth round came on No. 15, when he had to await a ruling for Stenson. "The only problem was that I had to use the restroom, and so sitting around waiting for that long didn't help," Spieth said.
Still, he made birdie and remained fully in his comfort zone.