They included Sergio Garcia, who was tied with Leishman at the end of the first round after both shot 6-under 66. The Spaniard soared to a 76 that knocked him back, but not out. He was four strokes off the lead.
Dustin Johnson surged to 7 under and the top spot on the board, before a dismal finish ruined his day. He laid up at the par-5 15th hole, then dunked his third shot in the water, leading to a double-bogey. He bogeyed the 17th and took another double-bogey at the final hole to finish with 76.
Instead of leading, he was five shots back at 1-under 143.
Some former champions fared better.
Couples, playing in his favorite tournament at age 53, birdied the final hole for a 71. Angel Cabrera birdied five of the last six holes, signed for a 69 and was another shot back at 140.
"It's a hard course out there," Couples said. "I felt very good about what I shot. I had a couple of little hiccups out there and did some other good things to shoot my score. But the golf course is winning today."
Cabrera actually posted a better score in the tougher conditions than he did Thursday, when he shot 71. He was joined at 4 under by Jim Furyk (71) and Brandt Snedeker (70).
"For me, Augusta is never easy," said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion. "Never, ever easy. The big difference was that on the back nine, I was hitting very well off the tee, leaving my second shots close, and I was able to make some birdies."