Fred Couples Says He Can Win The Masters

April 11th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

Fred Couples came to Augusta National as a winner of three of his first four tournaments as a rookie on the Champions Tour.  But the Masters is a different animal and just because he had success on the senior tour, doesn’t translate to the PGA Tour, right?

Wrong.

Couples came out on Thursday and fired a 6-under par round of 66 to take the lead.  He followed that up with a disappointing 75 on Friday and analysts seemed to give up on him.  That was until Couples came back and rebounded with a 4-under 68 on Saturday, to get back within striking distance of the leaders heading in to the final round on Sunday.

“I know time flies, but [Sunday] I have a shot,” Couples said after his round on Saturday. “I’m way behind, but I’ve heard other people talk about it, so I might as well say the same thing. If I can shoot a low score, I maybe can post a score and see what happens.”

Couples wowed the Augusta National patrons on No.15, with a remarkable chip-in for eagle that catapulted him back into the mix.

Of course, the way that the tournament was unfolding for about an hour on Saturday, Couples needed the eagle just to keep up, as Phil Mickelson carded back-to-back eagles on No.13 and No.14, to which Couples witnessed it all in the group behind.

“I wanted that golf ball that he holed in at 14. That’s what I wanted,” Couples said after his round. “He couldn’t hear me, but I wanted that eagle ball.”

Upon Couples making the eagle of his own, he began to re-evaluate the tournament, knowing that he could potentially become a factor again.

“I just love this place,” he remarked. “I have a shot [Sunday] if I can shoot a crazy score.”

Couples has a way of playing his best golf at Augusta, having only missed the cut once in over 20 appearances, which includes a win in the 1992 tournament.  He has recorded 10 total top-10 finishes, where he flirted with the lead in 2006, tabbing a third place finish to Mickelson.

“To be perfectly honest with you, I missed the cut the last two years and I went away pretty frustrated because I played pretty well,” Couples said of his performances at Augusta National.

“I know I can play the course. I can putt the greens … but I have not made really any putts this week,” he said. “I know that sounds really stupid, but I’ve hit the ball very well.”

Couples knows that he will have to shot a low round on Sunday if he is to have any chance at putting on his second career green jacket.

“They’re not going to shoot much over par. I need 65 or 66 to get in,” Couples said. “It would be a miracle, but we’ll see.”

USA Online Sportsbooks favor Mickelson to get it done on Sunday and win the 2010 Masters for the third time, and first since 2006.

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