AUGUSTA, Ga. — It's the 20th anniversary of his Masters victory, but Fred Couples doesn't need to think back that long to find the last time he played this well at Augusta National.
Couples shot 5-under 67 Friday to head into the weekend tied for first place with Jason Dufner at 5-under 139. "I feel like I'm very young when I get here," said Couples, 52.
Dufner, who shot 70, nearly won the last major championship contested in Georgia, but he collapsed down the stretch at the Atlanta Athletic Club in August and eventually lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley at the PGA Championship.
"It didn't quite work out but carried over, I think, into this year," Dufner said. "It gave me confidence that I can compete and play at a high level out here and do really nice things."
Five players were within one shot of the leaders, a group that included Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, and 30 players were within five shots of the lead.
Because of the Masters cut rule allowing any player within 10 shots of the lead to play into the weekend, 63 players made the cut, tied for the second-most ever. The other time 63 players made the cut, Couples won.
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