Fred Couples plans to play the Masters ‘as long as I can compete’

Masters champion Fred Couples plays a stroke from the No. 15 tee during Practice Round 1 for...
Masters champion Fred Couples plays a stroke from the No. 15 tee during Practice Round 1 for the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Monday, April 5, 2021.(Augusta National Golf Club)
Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 8:54 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A win at the Masters doesn’t just propel the champion to international stardom. It guarantees that they’ll be able to comeback to Augusta and play in the tournament as long as they choose.

Fred Couples has been a staple at the Masters since the 1983 and has only missed the 1987 tournament. His 1992 win has allowed him to come back for nearly 30 years. With age, couples has accepted that he’ll no longer be able to match the length as some of the younger golf stars. In Monday’s practice round, Couples commented his six iron went about the same length as Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, and Patrick Cantlay’s nine iron.

The length isn’t important, it’s the honor that comes with becoming a champion. Couples no longer competes against the field, he competes against the course. His goal now is to shoot 70 or 71 rather than the high 60′s of 20 years ago. Couples acknowledged that his scores will continue to increase, but still wants to play the Masters so long as he can hit his goals.

“Whereas for Bryson it’s going down, the score, for me it’s going up, the average score, but I’m okay with it, and as long as I can compete, I will come back. I don’t know if that’ll be two more years, four more years or what,” said Couples.

The tradition of allowing former champions to continue to play, no matter their age, is just one of the many things that makes the Masters such an incredible tournament. Here’s to watching Couples, Bernhard Langer, and all of the other former champions continue to play for as long as possible.

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