AUGUSTA, Ga. – Death, taxes and Fred Couples contending at the Masters late on Friday afternoon.
Couples shot matching 71s and is five shots behind Bubba Watson heading to the weekend. The 1992 champion is the only player at the Masters to be inside the top-10 after 36 holes in each of the last five years.
The 54-year-old silver fox seemingly feels no back pain while on the grounds at his beloved Augusta National. Most impressive so far is that Couples hasn’t found much trouble, and has made nothing higher than bogey – recording seven birdies and five bogeys.
The closest Couples came to danger Friday was on the infamous par-3 12th hole when he hoisted an iron shot into the air and the ball found the front banking of the green and began to roll back toward Rae’s Creek.
However, the ball got caught on the thicker fringe and stayed dry, creating visions of a similar thing that happened to Couples in 1992, which essentially allowed him to go on and collect the green jacket.
“There were 15,000 patrons on the tee, and they were all saying the same thing,” Couples said about the 1992 flashback.
The weekend has been a struggle for Couples, though, and he has tired over the final two rounds. He finished sixth in 2010, but slid to T-15, T-12 and T-13 finishes the past three years.
“I feel really comfortable here at Augusta,” Couples said. “I still hit the ball plenty long. I’m very excited because I hit the ball well.
“I have to keep plugging along and not worry about anyone other than myself.”