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The Loop

The Loop

Couples' quest for four straight up close

April 17, 2010

LUTZ, Fla. -- Can Fred Couples win four Champions Tour events in a row at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am? That depends on the condition of his back. (which Couples, third from the left, is stretching out, in this photo).

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Couples had three birdies and three bogeys on Friday, as he shot an opening-round 71 at TPC Tampa Bay.

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He played with Fred Funk, and was in a bit of a funk with his putter Ë¿ leaving most of his putts well short, after being accustomed to Augusta's slick surfaces from the week before.

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Going into Saturday, Couples is tied for 26th.

*-- Jeff Patterson