Fred Couples isn’t concerned about being 57 years old. Not when the Seattle native is shooting a 2-under 70 in the Masters at Augusta National. Couples put himself in contention at the site of his only major championship — which was 25 years ago.
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fred Couples isn’t concerned about 57.
Not when the Seattle native is shooting a 2-under-par 70 on another challenging day at Augusta National.
Showing he can still keep up with much younger golfers, Hall of Famer Couples put himself in contention Friday at the site of his only major championship — which was 25 years ago.
Not that it should be surprising to anyone.
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The 57-year-old has been a perennial challenger at the Masters since becoming eligible for the 50-and-older PGA Tour Champions.
Couples led after the opening round in 2010. He was on top at the midway point in 2012. He was second heading to the weekend in 2013.
Now, after sitting out a year ago because of a chronic back issue, he is back in the mix again — three shots off the lead, even as another dose of swirling winds made life miserable for many players in the second round.
Couples and Puyallup’s Ryan Moore (69) were among players tied for sixth place at 1-under 143 for 36 holes.
Rickie Fowler, whose 67 was the best round of the day, was tied for the lead at 4 under with Thomas Pieters (68), Sergio Garcia (69) and first-round leader Charley Hoffman (75).
“I really know the course very well,” Couples said. “I feel like my age is still OK, because I can drive it far enough. I’m not long like I used to be on this kind of course, but it still plays where I can reach a lot of these greens with shorter clubs to make the ball stop around the hole.”
Couples made six birdies, the last at No. 18 to close his round with a flourish.
After a 272-yard drive gave him a peek at the green around the towering Georgia pines, he stuck his approach 2 feet from the flag for a tap-in.
That final hole was especially important, as it came after back-to-back bogeys.
The challenge for Couples is to keep it going through the weekend. Over his last eight Saturday or Sunday rounds at Augusta, he has broken par once. That’s not surprising, as no one older than 46 has won the event.
“I’m not going to be thinking about winning the tournament until Sunday, or the back nine on Sunday,” Couples said. “I’ve got a long way to go before I worry about that.”
Moore, meanwhile, didn’t have a bogey in his round.
“I felt like I could go shoot a couple under and let’s get back to even (par) or kind of get into an interesting place going into the weekend,” Moore was quoted as saying by Golfdigest.com. “I knew it was going to be a tough day, and I bettered that by one. So, all in all, it was a great, successful round of golf and honestly couldn’t play much more solid than I…