Last Updated: 13/04/13 1:41am
Fred Couples: Two under for the back nine
Fred Couples continued his remarkable love affair with Augusta National as he remained in contention for the Masters title on the second day.
The 53-year-old veteran defied his years, a bad back and the worst of the weather to card a commendable one-under 71 which takes him into the weekend on five under par.
The 1992 champion had an eventful outward half which featured three birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey at the seventh, but he found greater consistency on the back nine as he picked up shots at 12 and 18.
"It's a hard course out there," said Couples. "I felt very good about what I shot. I had a couple of little hiccups out there and did some other good things to shoot my score. The golf course is brutal, and honestly, I feel great about a 71.
"I butchered the seventh hole. I actually thought I hit a pretty good second shot but I just hit it over the green, over the bunker and the pin was way right.
"It's a hard course out there. I felt very good about what I shot. I had a couple of little hiccups out there and did some other good things to shoot my score. The golf course is brutal, and honestly, I feel great about a 71."
"I told myself to play it for a five and I kind of gashed a sand wedge over the green into the gallery and chipped it up five feet and missed that for bogey.
"But then I made a huge two-putt from the front edge of the eighth from about 100 feet, and that was kind of like a sigh of relief. From then on, I played really, really well."
Couples has recorded 11 top-10 finishes in 28 previous appearances at Augusta, and he remains confident he can stay in the hunt for a second victory come Sunday evening.
"The last two days, I've driven the ball nicely, and so it seems like the same old course for me," he added.
"Am I good enough to play four good rounds in a row on a course like this? It didn't happen last year. I was four over pretty fast on Saturday, which was a real bummer.
"Then on Sunday, I played well enough to finish in a good spot. Hopefully Saturday this year will be a little different and I will play well and have a shot at Sunday. That's my goal."
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