The Seattle native made five of his seven birdies over the first 12 holes at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge.
After shooting even par on Friday, Fred Couples elevated his game Saturday with a 6-under 66.
Couples made five of his seven birdies on the first 12 holes at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge before “I got really stiff.” The Seattle native has a history of back and hip problems.
“The first 12 holes I was playing pretty well,” Couples said.
After starting on hole No. 10, Couples hit his best shot of the day on his 12th hole, the difficult par-4, 450-yard third hole. He hit a 6-iron from the lip of a bunker onto the green and sank a 40-foot putt for birdie.
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“You could put that hole on any PGA tournament,” he said. “It’s a helluva hole.”
His final birdie was on the par-5 eighth hole (his 17th) despite a bad tee shot. Couples, who has finished third in the Boeing Classic three times, is tied for 19th place.
Couples described the greens at this year’s Boeing Classic as “absolutely perfect.”
• There were some impressive second-round turnarounds Saturday: Scott Verplank went from Friday’s 81 to a 66, Tom Lehman went from 82 to 67, Wes Short Jr. went from 78 to the day’s low round of 64 and Kirk Triplett went from 81 to 72.
• The shot of the day was Duffy Waldorf sinking a 150-yard, 8-iron shot for an eagle 2 on the par-4, 410-yard second hole. Waldorf, who shot 66 in the first round, finished with a 1-over 73.
• The field averaged 70.85 strokes Saturday, the lowest second-round average since 2006, when it was 70.75.
• Fran Quinn, who shot 76 on Friday, withdrew, citing back pain.
• The tournament has basked in another week of good weather. The last time it rained on a tournament day was Sunday in 2013.
• Tom Pernice Jr. scored the first eagle in two years on the risk-reward par-4 “Canyon Hole,” No. 14. Pernice went for the green over the canyon Saturday, as did 23 golfers in the field of 77. Only 10 golfers went for the green Friday.
• It was a tough day for both Woody Austin and his driver. Austin shot a 78 and was without his driver after five holes in his round, which started on the 10th. He took a couple of practice swings on the par-5 15th and his driver made a funny noise. When he looked at it, the head of the driver fell off the shaft.
• The Tour could have done a “these guys are good” commercial at the 17th hole when Jay Don Blake, Kevin Sutherland and Rod Spittle played the 207-yard, par-3 where golfers shoot over a lake. Blake, who won the Boeing Classic in 2012, came close to a hole-in-one before the ball settled about 20 inches from the hole. Sutherland followed and came a couple of inches from the hole before rolling 3 feet away. Both made their easy birdie putts. Spittle, whose shot would have looked good in most groups, hit his tee shot about 12 feet from the hole and settled for par.
• Steve Pate was tied for the lead at 8 under when he came to the ninth hole. His tee shot landed in the lake, and he tossed his club to the ground near him in disgust. Pate made a double bogey but rebounded with birdies on the 10th and 12th holes.
• One perk of winning the Boeing Classic: 2016 winner Bernhard Langer has the parking place closest to the clubhouse. Next to him is 2015 winner Billy Andrade, and next to him is 2014 winner Scott Dunlap.
• Under PGA Tour Champions rules, a golfer and his caddie aren’t allowed to both be on a hole in a motorized cart. One must walk. The player’s clubs always must be with the caddie.