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Freddie trying to become oldest Tour winner

Fred Couples in the 2013 Northern Trust Open first round
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CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 01: Brandt Snedeker watches his tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the Wachovia Championship at Quail Hollow Country Club on May 1, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)  - 

LOS ANGELES – Fred Couples is threatening to peel away the years again at Riviera Country Club.

Couples blew a couple drives past big-hitting playing partner Bubba Watson on the way to a 3-under-par 68 Thursday to get in the early hunt at the Northern Trust Open. Couples is playing this event for the 31st time. Nobody has played it more.

“I haven’t really practiced much,” Couples said of the limitations his rickety back puts on him. “So, it’s surprising, but, again, I can figure out my way around this course.”

Couples has broken par in the first round of his last nine starts at the Northern Trust Open.

At 53, Couples would become the oldest player to win a PGA Tour event. Sam Snead holds the mark. He was 52 years, 10 months and 8 days old when he won the Greater Greensboro Open in 1965.