Skip to main content

Couples and Dufner lead Masters by one as Woods slips back

updated 1:46 PM EDT, Sat April 7, 2012
Fred Couples rolled back the years with a five-under-par 67 to co-lead the Masters at the halfway stage.
Fred Couples rolled back the years with a five-under-par 67 to co-lead the Masters at the halfway stage.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fred Couples shoots a five-under par round of 67 to share Masters lead
  • Rory McIlroy one shot off the pace after a round of 69
  • Tiger Woods slips back down the field after an inconsistent round
  • Phil Mickelson right back in the hunt after a second round 68

(CNN) -- Former Masters champion Fred Couples fired a five-under par round of 67 to claim a share of the lead with fellow American Jason Dufner at the Masters on Friday.

The 52-year-old, whose only major win came at Augusta National in 1992, helped himself to seven birdies including a run of three at the 7th, 8th and 9th holes.

A superb back nine which included birdies at the 15th and 16th saw Couples shoot the lowest score of the day and finish five-under par after two rounds.

"It was a very, very magical day. I'm going to be right there with everybody on the weekend," Couples said.

"If I come out here and play my game the best I can, I'll have a shot," he added.

It was a very, very magical day. I'm going to be right there with everybody on the weekend
Fred Couples

Dufner, runner-up at the PGA Championship last August, carded a two-under 70, go with his opening round 69.

The pair lead by one a chasing pack that includes overnight leader Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy.

When will Augusta admit female members?

Westwood was heading for a one-under par round of 71 but a double bogey at the 18th spoilt a steady round after his impressive showing on Thursday.

McIlroy compiled a composed 69, which included five birdies, but dropped shots at the 10th and the 17th took a little bit of the shine off his round. Nevertheless, the Northern Irishman was satisfied with his progress.

"I'm right where I want to be. I put myself in position to have a chance to win this tournament again," McIlroy said.

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen is also one shot off the lead after an even-par round of 72 as is Spain's Sergio Garcia, who shot a four-under par 68, and America's Bubba Watson who carded a 71.

But Tiger Woods' challenge for a fifth Green Jacket faded on Friday as he struggled to a three-over par round of 75, eight shots off the lead.

The current world No.1 Luke Donald may also struggle to mount a challenge at the weekend. With three holes left to play of his second round he was also three-over par.

Reigning champion Charl Schwartzel is on the same score after completing a disappointing round of 75.

But an exciting weekend is guaranteed with 16 players within three shots of Couples and Dufner, including Phil Mickelson whose four-under par 68 lifted him to two-under par.

One shot ahead on three under par is a group of four players including America's Matt Kuchar (70) and Scotland's Paul Lawrie who shot a 72 to go with his opening 69.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT