AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The man who's hyper enough to make caffeine nervous tried to make his golf game sound boring.

"All I'm trying to do," Bubba Watson said, "is just hit the greens."

Watson, though, has saved the Tiger-free (and now Phil-free) Masters. After opening with a 3-under 69, the 2012 champion shot a 4-under 68 on Friday for a 7-under 137. He also became only the fifth player in Masters history to run off nothing but birdies from Nos. 12-16.

"I'm trying to get the jacket back," he said. "I want that feeling again."

As evening approached, this was the non-descript leader board behind Watson: John Senden, Thomas Bjorn and Jonas Blixt. Then defending champion Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth emerged from the day's long shadows to reach the clubhouse at 3 under, tied with Bjorn and Blixt -- a stroke behind Senden.

Friday brought a series of curiosities -- including a visit from Johnny Johnny Manziel, who wrote on Instagram of taking his dad to Augusta National for a bucket-list trip.

A sprinkler head sent Rory McIlroy's second shot into the azaleas behind the 13th green. Marc Leishman went from 5 under to 5 over in a span of 12 holes.

Leishman had lots of prominent company on the "cut" list: Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell, Johnson & Johnson (Dustin and Zach) and Jason Dufner. McIlroy made a 5-foot putt on No. 18 to survive the cut.

But that late mini-drama couldn't obscure the biggest story: Mr. Thrill-a-Minute, Watson. Asked how his athleticism helps his golf game, Watson spoke of using his 9-iron to fly a shot 186 yards: "Just makes me an average tour player."

Said wife Angie, "If he shoots 80 or 800, he's still going to play T-ball with (son) Caleb in the backyard."

  • Mickelson missed the cut for the first time since 1997 after making a mess of three holes. "It's tough to overcome those big numbers," he said after a 1-over 73 and 5-over 149.

    Mickelson was chipping from 30 feet away on No. 7 in the first round when it rolled off the green and led to a triple bogey. On Friday at the par-3 12th, his tee shot cleared Rae's Creek but found the front bunker. His next shot sailed over the green and into the back bunker. From there, he blasted through the green and back into the front bunker. He got that out to 18 feet and two-putted for a triple bogey.

    Throw in a double bogey on the par-5 15th in the first round, and it's clear why Mickelson is on the sidelines. But he said he'll likely watch the rest of tournament on TV. "Kind of be my punishment," he said.

  • Former Masters champion Fred Couples fired his second straight 71 to lead a charge of 50-somethings -- OK, it's only a half-dozen guys. He was 2 under. Bernhard Langer, Larry Mize, and Vijay Singh -- all former Masters winners, as well -- were 2 over; followed by Miguel Angel Jimenez at 3 over and Sandy Lyle at 4 over. "I'm not here just to play golf and think that I can't compete on this course," Couples said.

  • Kevin Stadler was at 4 under until he double-bogeyed 11. The son of 1982 winner Craig Stadler staggered down the stretch for a 73 that left him at 1-under 143. The other half of the first father-son duo to play in the same Masters fared worse: Craig followed an 82 on Thursday with a 77.

  • Five of the 24 first-timers were under par -- Blixt (141), Spieth (141), Jimmy Walker (142), Stephen Gallacher (143) and Kevin Stadler (143). "This is all you want," Blixt said. "You want to be in contention come Saturday and Sunday." Blixt (2012) and Walker (2013) are former Frys.com Open winners.

  • Branden Grace -- a big and occasional wild hitter -- followed his 84 with a 3-under 69 on Friday, still missing the cut.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    INSIDE

    Leader board. PAGE 7

    LEADER BOARD

    After second round

    Player Scores Par
    Bubba Watson 69-68 -- -7
    John Senden 72-68 -- -4
    Thomas Bjorn 73-68 -- -3
    Jonas Blixt 70-71 -- -3
    Adam Scott 69-72 -- -3
    Jordan Spieth 71-70 -- -3
    Notables
    Fred Couples 71-71 -- -2
    Rory McIlroy 74-77 -- +4
    Missed Cut
    Phil Mickelson 76-73 -- +5
    Full leader board, PAGE 7