After impressive opening rounds, 50-year-old Fred Couples and 60-year-old Tom Watson starred among the list of great names on the leaderboard. No doubt they’re solid players, but were wondered if they could stay in contention.
I thought Freddie had a really good chance, but was more tentative about betting on Watson. Of course, Watson’s inspiring performance at the British Open last summer was still clear in our memories, but Augusta and Turnberry are different battles to fight. With the tees moved back in their normal positions, I predicted he would fire a 75. I know it was a harsh prediction, but I was basically just agreeing with his own prophesy (always talks about how he’s too old and can’t handle the length). Well, I was close. He shot 74.
As for Freddie, he woke up with a sore back (and/or foul mood) on Friday morning. “…[T]o be honest, I didn’t think I’d be able to play very good at all today,” Couples said. “I needed to be 5, 6 under to be realistic. I’m not out of it, but 75 is not a great score.”
Unfortunately just another reality of growing older. While he hung on for most of the day, he lost steam on the back nine, bogeying the final three holes. Ouch.
The good news is, I probably don’t have to worry about losing my arm. On Thursday night I said if Freddie were leading after three rounds, I’d give my right arm for a badge to Augusta on Sunday. Well, neither Freddie or Watson are out of the hunt. Both are at 3-under and tied for ninth — which by my count — is pretty decent for a couple of guys who can almost order from the Denny’s senior citizens menu.
[Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]