Conditions were again perfect for the early starters in the second round of the 78th Masters, but recent history suggested the odds were against those not already high on the leaderboard.
The last eight winners of the year's first major championship had been inside the top 10 after the first round, which was good news for the likes of 2012 winner Bubba Watson and defending champion Adam Scott in joint second.
But it was bad news for the likes of Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter - who were in a tie for 67th after opening rounds of 76 - while former world number one Luke Donald beat just eight players on Thursday following a 79.
Rory McIlroy rewrote numerous records in his eight-shot victories in the 2011 US Open and 2012 US PGA Championship, so the 24-year-old would not be too concerned about being joint 12th overnight.
However, the Northern Irishman was concerned about being in the last group out just before 2pm local time, with tough pin positions, firm greens and wind forecast to gust up to 20mph set to make life difficult.
American Kevin Streelman was the first player to make the most of an early start on Friday, birdies at the second and fourth taking the 35-year-old to two under par, two behind leader Bill Haas.
Streelman, who missed the cut in his previous two Masters appearances with a best score of 74, was in the first group out with DA Points, who bogeyed the first to drop back to seven over.
The top 50 players and ties will make the halfway cut, along with any player within 10 shots of the lead.
Streelman remained two under after eight holes while former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who lost a play-off to Watson two years ago, opened with two pars to stay one off the lead on three under.
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn had birdied the first and second to improve to one under par overall, while debutant Stephen Gallacher had bogeyed the fourth to drop back to level par.