Couples into the weekend, again, at Augusta

Augusta, GA ( - When the term horses for courses is used in golf, Fred Couples at Augusta National is one of the first thoughts that comes to mind.

Couples carded his second straight 71 on Friday to finish 36 holes at 2-under 142 at the 78th Masters. He was five strokes off the lead, but that hardly matters.

The 1992 Masters champion made the cut for the 28th time in 30 starts at Augusta. He is now alone in third place with those 28 cuts made, trailing only Jack Nicklaus (37) and Gary Player (30).

By making it to the weekend this year, Couples moved ahead of Raymond Floyd, who made 27 cuts at Augusta.

"I feel great about playing here, I'm very excited about playing here and then when you see me in the parking lot Saturday night, I'm all dejected the last few years because I haven't been able to keep putting these rounds together," said Couples, who has averaged 76 the last two years in the third round. "I feel real comfortable at Augusta, and I'm still plenty long."

Couples mixed four birdies and three bogeys in his round of 71 on Friday. He got off to a fast start with 7-foot birdie putt at two and 3-footer at three. Couples gave one shot back when he bogeyed the fifth.

At the par-5 eighth, Couples made birdie for the second straight day. He also bogeyed the 12th for the second day in a row to dip back to minus-2.

Couples, 54, played his third to seven feet on the 13th and rolled that in for birdie. He stumbled to his second bogey in two days at the 17th to slip to minus-2. Couples ended there with a par at the last.

Over the last four years, Couples has averaged 73 in the third round and has finished between sixth in 2010 and tied for 15th in 2011.