Couples shows the kids a thing or two at Augusta

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 12, 2014 - 12:09 AM

At 54, Fred Couples is again high on the leaderboard at the Masters through two rounds. Now he just needs to figure out how to stay there.

view larger photos

  

– Every spring at Augusta National the azaleas bloom, “patrons” suddenly become enamored of pimento cheese sandwiches that taste like Spackle, and Fred Couples spends two rounds at the Masters contending with kids young enough to be … his kids.

On Friday, Couples shot his second 71 of the tournament to enter the weekend tied for sixth, while many supposed and younger contenders packed up after missing the cut.

“I say the same thing every year,” Couples said. “I feel great about playing here, I’m very excited about playing here, and then when you see me in the parking lot on Saturday night, I’m dejected every year.”

Couples, 54, is the only player who has been in the top 10 at the Masters after 36 holes each of the past five years. In his past five Masters appearances, he has been ninth, seventh, first, second and seventh entering the weekend.

Famous for his good looks and easy demeanor, Couples this year looks close to his age. He’s grayer and thicker through the middle. He still spends breaks in play stretching his iffy back. He also looks loose and happy at Augusta National, where he chats with fans and walks down the fairways, as legendary golf writer Dan Jenkins wrote, “like he’s walking his dog.”

Couples was one of six players aged 50 or older who made the cut. It’s a tough course for most 50-somethings, because short hitters are at a marked disadvantage, and Augusta National’s hills tend to wear out the legs of older players.

The latter might affect Couples on the weekends, but the former doesn’t apply. Couples blasts the ball past younger playing partners with his long, laconic swing.

“Can I win it?” Couples said. “Yeah. That’s why I’m here.”

Luck occasionally comes into play, too, as if the Masters loves Couples as much as he loves the tournament. He’s won only one major title, the 1992 Masters, and he won in part because his tee shot to the par-3 12th hit the front bank and miraculously stayed dry.

Friday, Couples hit his tee shot at the 12th farther left than his famous shot in 1992, and this one also hit the shaved bank, rolled back … and stopped short of Rae’s Creek.

“Well, I will say I got very, very lucky,” Couples said.

Since 2011, Couples is a combined 18 under in the first two rounds of the Masters, and eight over on the weekend.

“I’m not here just to play golf and play golf and think that I can’t compete on this course,” Couples said. “I can’t compete with these guys over a year, but in one week I can compete, and I have to do it tomorrow.”

  • related content

  • Fred Couples is five shots off the lead after a second consecutive 71 at the Masters on Friday. “Can I win it?” Couples said. “Yeah. That’s why I’m here.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 7
Milwaukee 0 Top 9th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 2
Chicago WSox 1 Top 9th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Cleveland 7 Bottom 6th Inning
Minnesota 2
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 10
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Motte 8
San Francisco 0 Top 6th Inning
San Diego 1
Texas 0 Top 5th Inning
LA Angels 3
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Appalachian St 14 4th Qtr 4:18
Southern Miss 14
Miss State 34 4th Qtr 8:25
(8) LSU 16
Utah State 14 4th Qtr 4:58
Arkansas State 14
Miami-Ohio 24 4th Qtr 8:16
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 4th Qtr 2:21
Ohio U 29
Ball State 3 1st Qtr 4:20
Toledo 13
(14) So Carolina 27 3rd Qtr 0:23
Vanderbilt 24
(4) Oklahoma 31 3rd Qtr 8:20
West Virginia 24
Ga Southern 21 4th Qtr 8:21
South Alabama 6
UNLV 7 3rd Qtr 11:39
Houston 27
Miami-Florida 21 3rd Qtr 5:09
(24) Nebraska 24
New Mexico 21 3rd Qtr 11:08
New Mexico St 21
(22) Clemson 10 3rd Qtr 15:00
(1) Florida State 3
California 7 1st Qtr 12:16
Arizona 0
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 FINAL
Columbus 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
Seattle 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
D.C. 3 2nd Half 20:00
Chicago 2
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 16 1:27
Hamilton 25
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close