Friday, 12 April 2013
Fred Couples  (Getty Images)
Fred Couples (Getty Images)
The over-50s were making their presence felt at Augusta National as Fred Couples reached the halfway stage just one off the pace.

The 53 year old American, who won the famous Green Jacket back in 1992, again displayed his love of the Masters Tournament with a second round 71 which took him to five under par for the week.

Senior Open Champion Couples’ antics were not entirely unexpected – he led after the first round in 2010 before finishing sixth and, along with England’s Lee Westwood, is one of only two players not to have finished outside the top 15 in the last three years.

"I would like to have another run," Couples said. "Last year both Jason and I struggled right off the bat and we really were a non-factor on Saturday and that was not really much fun.

"Hopefully tomorrow will be a little different and I will play well and have a shot at Sunday. That's my goal, but it is hard. I'm not going to kid you. I'm really tired.

"Am I good enough to play four good rounds in a row on a course like this? It didn't happen last year. I did tee off Thursday with the idea of playing well, and now it's Friday afternoon late. I'm surprised, but I'm not going to freak out over it."

German Bernhard Langer, who was presented with his Green Jacket by Couples 20 years ago, also posted a 71 to be two under at the halfway stage.

Scotland’s Sandy Lyle was also starring for the senior generation – marking the 25th anniversary of his Masters Tournament triumph by making the cut on one over.

The 55 year old, who added a 72 to his opening 73 to comfortably qualify for the final two rounds on one over par, made four birdies with a massive black putter known as a 'Black Swan'.

"It hasn't turned into an ugly duckling yet, has it?'" joked Lyle, who also has a distinctive pause in his backswing. "I used it at the (Senior) PGA last year and I got lots of grief for it.

"But I finished fourth with it, so I was very happy with it. It could be anything. A frying pan, whatever."

Lyle has finished under par after 72 holes just once at Augusta since 1992, the year Couples won.

Asked if he could get into contention for a second title Lyle added: "Oh, I'll cross that bridge when I get near it.

"I'm giving myself a chance to obviously play tomorrow, so I'm highly delighted with that.

"That's what I came out to do. And even now I'm right there to get back in there."

Couples, Langer and Lyle are all expected to be in the field for The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex at Royal Birkdale from July 25-28 - for tickets click here

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