At 63 years and six months young, Fred Couples showed there is life in the old dog yet as he became the oldest player in Masters history to make the halfway cut at Augusta National.
Following the overnight suspension in play, Couples returned to the 18th fairway and carded a bogey for a two-over 74 and one-over total to beat Bernhard Langer’s record in 2020 (63y 80d).
The 1992 Masters winner has beaten Bubba Watson, Corey Connors, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and Bryson DeChambeau to make his first cut in five attempts.
“I played really well the last couple days. I’ve said the word really a lot of times. I enjoy the place.
“I hit my tee shot yesterday when the wind was howling, and I had 230 to the hole. All night long, I thought just make a 5. I wasn’t even thinking about a 4, and I made a 5. It’s probably the best I could have done unless something crazy happened.
“There really isn’t a secret. Everyone loves this place. That doesn’t mean you’re going to play well. If I hit it really solid, I’m a good iron player.
“Yesterday, a couple of the bogeys I made, I fatted an 8-iron on 7 with a pretty easy shot, thinking maybe I should have hit 9. But it was a little funky little lie. Then I hit it a little too much — I flew it on 17 about four feet from the hole, and it bounced over. Most people would have gotten them down. I bogeyed both of those holes.
“Other than that, besides butchering 13, I hit most of the greens and I actually had a few birdie chances.”
It’s Couples’ 31st made cut at the Masters and he will prowl the Augusta fairways with his famous swagger for another 36 holes, although he is unsure how he will navigate the cold and wet conditions.
“I wouldn’t want to be on the 10th hole. I think, if I was on the 10th hole, it might be a little different story. Everyone is going to be struggling and trying to make pars.
“Again, I had to slice a 3-wood from the fairway, and I thought I hit a pretty good shot, and it went — I mean, I had 48 to the hole, so I hit it 172 yards. It’s just not going anywhere. Then Russell Henley hit a wood and smoked it on the front edge, and Alex Noren hammered an iron into the bunker.
“So 18, you would think, if it stays like this — I’m not being an idiot, but there’s going to be a bogey in every group just because it’s so hard, and the par-5s are now difficult.
“So it is what it is. Am I going to look thrilled to play 18 holes in this this afternoon? No, I’m a wimp. I’m an old wimp, but I’m excited to play. And I don’t wear gloves. So I’ve got a couple of hours to try to figure out what I’m going to try and do if it stays like this all day long.
“But I am excited to make the cut. That’s why I come here. The last four years have been really mediocre golf. Maybe one year I was semi close to making the cut. But that’s my objective, and I did it.
“It’s not like ha, ha, ha. Now I can screw around and play 36 holes for fun. I’m going to try and compete. Play a good pairing with some younger guys and watch them play,” explained Couples who proved age is just a number.
Rolling back the years.
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