Commentary

Aussie breakthrough at Augusta?

Updated: April 13, 2013, 3:20 AM ET
By Farrell Evans | ESPN.com

AUGUSTA, Ga., -- Australians have won 15 major championships, but never a Masters. Greg Norman should have two or three green jackets, but it never happened.

In 2011, Jason Day and Adam Scott, two Australian players who idolized Norman, tied for second at Augusta. They are both back on the first page of the leaderboard this year while trying to finish off the work that their hero couldn't.

[+] EnlargeJason Day
AP Photo/David GoldmanCan Jason Day, the 36-hole leader at Augusta, give Australia its first green jacket?

But they have some help this time around.

First-round co-leader Marc Leishman is in a tie for second, one shot behind Day and two clear of Scott. John Senden is four shots back at 2-under.

These four players represent the entire Australian contingent, the lowest number in the field from the country since 2002, at the Masters.

Could this be the year that a man from Down Under finally wins at Augusta?

"Obviously, there's a lot of pressure on my shoulders, being from Australia and no Australian has ever won the event," Day said after his 68 on Friday, which was the low round of the day. "They have been very, very close, but I've just got to try to get that out of my mind and just plug away.

"If you look at it as pressure, you're going to worry about it more. If you look at it as a challenge and an opportunity to be the first and stay positive with it, you know, it only motivates you to play well. So I've just got to really not think about it at all."

Despite his best intentions, it will be very difficult for Day to not think about what it represents to his golf-mad country for him to fulfill the quest started by Norman and Peter Thomson.

There is a good chance that Day, a 25-year-old Queensland native, might have to beat one of his countrymen in Amen Corner on Sunday afternoon for his nation's first green jacket.