AUGUSTA - Russell Henley assessed his lie 55 yards away from the 17th hole and off the green.

"Do we want to be short of this or pass it?" he asked his caddy, Adam Hayes.

Hayes was direct.

"To be honest, buddy, we want to be right next to it," he said.

Or even better. Henley chipped in off the flagstick Friday for a birdie on his way to a 2-under-par 70 in the second round of the Masters.

That was a lot of fun," said Henley, a Kiawah Island resident who moved to Charleston from Georiga in 2012.

Henley said he was much more comfortable at Augusta National this week than during his first Masters last year, and he has played like it. His 1-under-par 143 total easily allowed him to make the Masters' weekend cut, which he missed in 2013.

"We're trying to get into contention, not just make the cut," said Henley, a two-time PGA tour winner. "But to make the cut shows I'm doing some good stuff."

A University of Georgia graduate who wore bright red pants Friday, Henley will celebrate his 25th birthday Saturday chasing another Georgia grad, Masters leader Bubba Watson.

Henley came into the Masters playing well; he shot a final round 66 last week at the Shell Houston Open to finish tied for 7th.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff