Golf’s greatest part-time legend is at it again. Fred Couples, who celebrated his 59th birthday on Wednesday, was talking about this week’s Safeway Open likely being the last non-major PGA Tour event he tees it up in, injury, fatigue and competitiveness eating away at him. If that’s the case, Couples is going to make the most of it at Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif.
After shooting a one-over 73 during Thursday’s first round, Couples got his putter working on Friday, making eight birdies and one bogey while posting a seven-under 65 to end the day tied for 24th, seven strokes back of leader Brandt Snedeker.
Coincidentally, Couples was in the same threesome with Snedeker, who also shot a 65, the day’s low score. Couples said watching Sneds on the greens helped influence his own performance.
That certainly appeared to be the case statistically speaking. Couples needed just 22 putts en route to the 65, his lowest round in a non-major since the 2009 at the Northern Trust Open. Couples’ strokes gained/putting stat in Round 2 was an astounding 3.897 after posting an equally astounding -4.192 in the Round 1.
The 65 matches the lowest score that Couples has shot in 2018, the World Golf Hall of Famer having done it twice on the PGA Tour Champions. And the last time he broke 70 on the PGA Tour was at the 2014 Wyndham Championship, where a second-round 69 couldn’t help him make the cut.
Couples has played just eight tournaments in 2018 on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, nursing his chronic bad back. Three have come since the end of August.
The last time Couples made a cut in a PGA Tour event was in April at the Masters, where he finished T-38. In a non-major, his last cut came at the 2013 Memorial, where he finished T-50. In advancing to the weekend in Napa, Couples racked his 500th career made cut in a PGA Tour event: 492 officially by the PGA Tour's count as well as eight made cuts in the Open Championship prior to 1995, when the tour started counting the Open as an official event.