Fred Couples is 53, but he proved once again on Friday he still has the game required to win the Masters. Couples, the 1992 champion who...

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Couples is 53, but he proved once again on Friday he still has the game required to win the Masters.

Couples, the 1992 champion who went O’Dea High School, carded his fifth birdie of the day at the 18th hole for a 71 and is one-shot behind 36-hole leader Jason Day.

“The last two days I’ve driven the ball nicely, so it seems like the same old course for me,” said Couples, who shared the lead at the halfway point last year. “So then you get into, ‘Am I good enough to play four good rounds in a row on a course like this?’ It didn’t happen last year. I was 4-over pretty fast on Saturday, which was a real bummer.”

Another issue for Couples is his back, which has given him plenty of problems through the years. He said Friday he hasn’t had an issue with it this week, and he’ll be able to rest up before a late tee time on Saturday.

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“I would like to have another run” at contending, he said. “Hopefully tomorrow will be a little different and I will play well and have a shot on Sunday. That’s my goal. But I’m not going to kid you — it’s a hard course.”

Couples was ready to commit to the same promise he made last April, when he shared the lead after the second round.

“Yeah, I would quit,” Couples said. “I’m going to quit when I win this thing. I swear to God, I’m going to retire.”

Woods’ drop

might be reviewed

ESPN reported late Friday night that Masters officials are expected on Saturday morning to review videotape of the drop Tiger Woods performed after his third shot hit the flagstick on the par-5 15th hole and then bounced back into the water.

If Woods is deemed to have made an incorrect drop, he will then be deemed to have signed an incorrect scorecard and would be disqualified.

Woods said afterward he dropped “two yards” behind his original spot, whereas the rules of golf state a player in this case needs to drop as close to the original spot as possible. During a CBS-TV highlights show Friday, analyst David Feherty viewed tapes of the drop and said he believed it was illegal.

Guan makes cut

despite penalty

Tianlang Guan, the 14-year-old phenom from China, became the youngest player in major championship history to make the cut when his two-round score of 4-over-par 146 was enough to play on the weekend at the Masters thanks to a rule that allows any player 10 shots from the lead to make the cut.

Guan had a second solid round for any player, but one even more spectacular considering he’s a middle-school student.

Guan made 16 pars to go with bogeys on Nos. 4 and 7, but he was assessed a penalty for slow play and finished with a 3-over-par 75.

He began being timed on the 12th hole and received a first warning on the 13th hole following his second shot. He was penalized following his second shot on No. 17 when he exceeded the 40-second time limit, according to Fred Ridley, chairman of the Masters Competition Committee.

Guan said he respected the decision the officials made.

“If you’re timed (for) only 40 seconds, it’s pretty hard because you need to make a decision,” he said. “The wind switched a lot. But that’s for everybody.”

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