Couples' round at Masters stirs memories of '92

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm •  Published: April 11, 2014
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Fred Couples' luck on No. 12 at Augusta National seems to have no expiration date.

Couples got another huge break on the short and tricky hole Friday, stirring memories of his famous shot there in 1992.

Couples hit a 9-iron from 155 yards and came up short when his ball caught a gust of wind. It landed on the embankment and started rolling toward Rae's Creek. Somehow, it stopped.

"I got very, very lucky," said Couples, who finished with his second straight 1-under 71. "Luckily I was aiming far enough left that it didn't catch the big bank and the slope. Very lucky."

Just maybe not as fortunate as he was in 1992.

Couples' tee shot came up short back then, too, but his ball suddenly and inexplicably stopped rolling a few inches from the water. He followed with an up-and-down for par that kept him in the hunt. He went on to win his only Masters.

He later called it the "biggest break" in his golf career.

Couples didn't get up-and-down this time. He nonchalantly flubbed his chip and made bogey. Still, he bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 13th and finished 2 under and five shots behind second-round leader Bubba Watson.

"Would I want to put on another jacket here? Yeah," Couples said. "But I've got 36 holes. I need to play better than I did the last two days. And I felt like I played really well. I've got my work cut out for me."

___

TURNAROUND: One day after nothing went right, Branden Grace could do no wrong.

The big hitter — and occasional wild hitter — from South Africa followed his 84 with a 3-under 69 on Friday. He still missed the cut, but leaves on a happy note.

"I thought it might be comeback of the year," Grace said. "It could have been. I had an eagle putt horseshoe out on the 15th, and missed a short one on the 16th. Oh well."

He would have needed a 63 — or a 90 in the first round — to have matched the Masters record. Craig Wood went from an 88 to a 67 in 1936.

Grace said he's been struggling for three weeks and needs a break, so he will head home to South Africa for five weeks, not returning until the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth to start his run to the U.S. Open.

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