AUGUSTA: Brooks Koepka took advantage of ideal morning scoring conditions to put the LIV Golf flag three shots clear at the top of the Masters’ second-round leaderboard on Friday, before ferocious storms roared across Augusta National to end play early. Koepka, who shared the overnight lead with Norway’s Viktor Hovland and Spain’s Jon Rahm, returned a spotless five-under 67 to set a 12-under target for the afternoon wave that headed out under menacing skies. Rahm, who was among the late starters going out in the second to last group, was working his way up the leaderboard getting to nine-under but had his charge stalled by dangerous weather. Amateur Sam Bennett continued to be the Augusta surprise package lurking four back after carding a second consecutive 68. Start times had been pushed ahead by 30 minutes in an effort to get as much play in as possible before forecasted thunderstorms swept into Augusta. Inclement weather arrived mid-afternoon triggering a brief 21-minute stoppage which was followed by a second suspension an hour later that forced an evacuation of the course and an end to play. Wild winds tore across the course, up-rooting trees, including massive Georgia pines that crashed across the 17th tee box and narrowly missed spectators. “Augusta National Golf Club can confirm that no injuries were reported from three trees that were blown over to the left of the No. 17 tee due to wind,” said Augusta National in a statement. “The safety and well-being of everyone attending the Masters Tournament will always be the top priority of the Club.” Augusta National said play would resume on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET (1200 GMT) with 39 players completing their second rounds and will then be followed by third round action. The forecast for Saturday, however, is not promising with calls for heavy rains and cold temperatures. Koepka did all his damage on Augusta National’s four par-five holes, recording three birdies and an eagle while taking a single bogey through two rounds. World number three Rahm, winner of three events already this season, was always expected to contend at the year’s first major, Koepka was not. But the four-time major winner, who is fit again after suffering a number of injury woes, has emerged as the leader of the LIV Golf contingent.