SNOQUALMIE — It was a better round of golf Saturday for Seattle native Fred Couples, but he still wasn’t real happy with it.

Couples shot a 3-under-par 69, three shots better than his opening round, moving him 17 places up the leaderboard into a tie for 28th, and seven shots off the lead heading into the final round of the Boeing Classic at the Club at Snoqualmie Ridge.

“Yeah, it was a little better,” Couples said. “I hit a few good shots and I made a few putts, but I mean, it wasn’t like I could have been 6 under. But I probably could have been one better.”

Couples started with a bang, chipping in from about 80 feet for a birdie on the par-4 10th hole, his first hole of the day. But that was his last hole for 90 minutes as play was stopped because of a fog delay.

Couples said his famously balky back handled the delay just fine.

“I went and hit more balls, and it wasn’t a long delay and I was warm,” Couples said.

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Couples hit a bad drive on the fourth hole and made a bogey after being forced to take a penalty shot. That move him back to even-par for the day.

He followed with three consecutive birdies, then missed a 5-foot putt for another birdie on the eighth (his 17th hole). A closing par left him with a good score, but not as good as he had hoped.

“I need to play much better tomorrow,” Couples said.

A game of inches

Golf can be a cruel game, with just a foot making an incredible difference.

Take the first hole at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge. Jerry Kelly hit his approach shot on the par-5 into the greenside bunker short of the hole. He blasted out to about six inches from the hole for a tap-in birdie.

Billy Mayfair, playing in the next group and one of three leaders entering the second round, found the same bunker on his approach but was about a foot closer to the left lip of the bunker.

Mayfair had a difficult stance, with one foot in and one foot out. Because of that, he mishit the shot, flying it well over the green and out of bounds behind the hole. He had to re-hit from the bunker.

This time, Mayfair was able to get on the green but ended up making a double bogey and scoring three shots worse than Kelly despite hitting their approach shots about a foot apart.

Mayfair dropped two more shots over the next three holes. but rallied with six birdies on the final 11 holes to get to 8 under and tied for fourth, along with Kelly and three others.

Note

  • Pullman product Kirk Triplett shot a 3-over 75 Saturday and is tied for 49th at 1-over. Brian Mogg, of Gig Harbor, (76) is 71st at 5 over. Mogg, a renowned instructor, was giving a clinic to youth after his round.