By Mark Lamport-Stokes
AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and David Lynn kept their country's flag flying high at the Masters on Friday as they stayed on track to earn England a first victory at Augusta National in nearly two decades.
It has been 17 years since compatriot Nick Faldo surged past Greg Norman to claim his third green jacket in the season's opening major and the English trio were well placed to follow suit after ending the second round three strokes off the lead.
World number three Rose and 13th-ranked Westwood each carded 71s while Lynn returned a 73 on a tricky day for scoring in the face of several tough pin positions as the breezes swirled amid the Georgian pines.
"I just I need to warm my putter up," Rose, 32, told reporters after finishing at three-under 141. "I haven't made a putt in two days and I am where I am, so I'm very encouraged by that.
"I'm trying to stay patient right now. And typically, when I've won tournaments, that's what's happened. My putter has heated up on the weekend and I've been able to take advantage of my good play.
"So I feel like I played very well the first two days and I'm just waiting for that blade to warm up. If I stay patient, I give myself a very good chance that that will happen."
Rose has not won a title in over a year but has been ultra-consistent this season, recording top-10 finishes in his last three PGA Tour starts, including runner-up spot behind Tiger Woods at last month's Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Westwood, widely viewed as the best player of his generation yet to win a major, has posted two top-threes in his last three appearances at the Masters and was delighted with his "plodding" play on Friday.
"I did what I needed to do with the conditions, in the conditions," the former world number one said after ending his round with two birdies in the last five holes.
"I played solidly. I hit it in the right places a lot of the time. I didn't hit it in the wrong places very often, just once on the fifth in the trap.
"And I was plodding my way around the golf course like you have to when it gets tricky around here. It just feels like that kind of day and that kind of week where nobody's going to run away. It's a difficult golf course to shoot really low on."
Lynn, who stunned the golfing world with a runner-up finish at last year's PGA Championship in only his second major appearance, followed his opening 68 with a 73 but was thrilled to remain in contention after playing "boring" golf.
"I was just grinding out the pars," the 39-year-old journeyman said after matching his two compatriots by ending the day on a flourish with a birdie at the par-four 18th.
"I actually had quite a few chances on the back nine, so to finally finish with a birdie ... I hit a fantastic shot into the last to about six feet.
"As we can see by the numbers on the scoreboard, nobody is running away with it, so boring is good."
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)