Couples (back) to miss first Masters since 1994

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fred Couples withdrew from the Masters on Monday because of acute back pain.

It’s the first time that Couples, 56, has missed the Masters since 1994. 

Prior to last year’s missed cut at Augusta National, the 1992 champion had posted top-20s each of the past five years. He has made 31 appearances in all. 

Couples has battled back issues for several years, but tournament officials announced Monday that his condition hasn’t improved enough to prepare or play in the Masters. He hasn’t played on the PGA Tour Champions since Feb. 14. 

The Masters field is now 89 players – the fewest since 2002.