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Snedeker grabs attention
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    AUGUSTA — He plays fast, he talks fast, and he’s also quickly gaining attention at the 2008 Masters.
    After finishing one shot off the lead Thursday, Brandt Snedeker turned in another impressive round Friday, carding a 4-under 68 to move into sole possession of second place after 36-holes. He’s one shot behind leader Trevor Immelman.
    Snedeker stayed in the hunt with numerous par-saving putts, including one on the 10th hole to help his confidence.
    “I felt like I was rolling it great, but anytime you start making 6, 8, 10-footers for par to keep your round going, that’s all the momentum in the world,” he said.
    Another boost for the Nashville, Tenn., native came when he birdied the final two holes. This is his second Masters appearance and first as a professional after playing in 2004 as the U.S. Amateur champ.
    Snedeker said he’s always wanted to be a professional golfer, an aspiration that started when his grandmother, a golf course manager, gave him his first set of clubs. But in case a golf career didn’t work out, Snedeker attended Vanderbilt so he’d always had a good education to fall back on, he said.
In the meantime, he’s making noise at the Masters where he’s drawing on the lessons he’s learned from playing Augusta National 40 or 50 times.
    “I’ve know exactly where you don’t want to hit it, so I’m trying to avoid that this week,” said Snedeker, who played the first two rounds alongside Tom Watson, his childhood idle. “I did it a couple times today but hopefully no more this weekend.”

The cut

    Everyone but the top 44 players and ties was sent home after Friday’s round. This year’s cut was plus-3.
    The Masters instituted its 36-hole cut in 1957, and the longest active cut streak is held by Tiger Woods, who’s made 12 straight. Fred Couples missed the cut Friday for the first time in his career.

Do your homework
    Thirty-four-year-old Boo Weekley, a former Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College student, has gained popularity with his laidback personality, but he’s shocked others with his lack of Masters knowledge. The East Milton, Fla., native is playing in his first Masters.
    He wasn’t frustrated when he barely missed an eagle putt on the par-5 15th hole Thursday, mostly because he thought it was a par 4. Weekley also didn’t know about legendary Amen Corner, holes 11, 12 and 13 which are considered the toughest stretch on the course.
    “What’s Amen Corner?” he said. “Why is that a corner? It should be 12, 13 and 14, shouldn’t it? There you go, you got me.”

This and that
    The number of sub-par rounds fired during the opening day of the Masters jumped from nine in 2007 to 18 this year…Ian Poulter’s  3-under 69 Friday is his career low in 14 rounds at the Masters…Phil Mickelson’s 4-under 68 Friday tied his lowest second-round Masters score last shot in 2000…Immelman’s back-to-back 68s marked the third time since 1942 consecutive 68s have been carded in the first two rounds of the Masters. Sam Byrd accomplished the feat in 1942 and finished fourth, and Tom Watson did it in 1991, finishing tied for third…Tennis star Venus Williams was spotted at Augusta National Friday.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.