Couples and Dufner lead Masters by one as Woods slips back
April 7, 2012 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
Fred Couples rolled back the years with a five-under-par 67 to co-lead the Masters at the halfway stage.
- Fred Couples shoots a five-under par round of 67 to share Masters lead
- Rory McIlroy one shot off the pace after a round of 69
- Tiger Woods slips back down the field after an inconsistent round
- Phil Mickelson right back in the hunt after a second round 68
(CNN) -- Former Masters champion Fred Couples fired a five-under par round of 67 to claim a share of the lead with fellow American Jason Dufner at the Masters on Friday.
The 52-year-old, whose only major win came at Augusta National in 1992, helped himself to seven birdies including a run of three at the 7th, 8th and 9th holes.
A superb back nine which included birdies at the 15th and 16th saw Couples shoot the lowest score of the day and finish five-under par after two rounds.
"It was a very, very magical day. I'm going to be right there with everybody on the weekend," Couples said.
"If I come out here and play my game the best I can, I'll have a shot," he added.
It was a very, very magical day. I'm going to be right there with everybody on the weekend
Dufner, runner-up at the PGA Championship last August, carded a two-under 70, go with his opening round 69.
The pair lead by one a chasing pack that includes overnight leader Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy.
When will Augusta admit female members?
Westwood was heading for a one-under par round of 71 but a double bogey at the 18th spoilt a steady round after his impressive showing on Thursday.
McIlroy compiled a composed 69, which included five birdies, but dropped shots at the 10th and the 17th took a little bit of the shine off his round. Nevertheless, the Northern Irishman was satisfied with his progress.
"I'm right where I want to be. I put myself in position to have a chance to win this tournament again," McIlroy said.
South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen is also one shot off the lead after an even-par round of 72 as is Spain's Sergio Garcia, who shot a four-under par 68, and America's Bubba Watson who carded a 71.
But Tiger Woods' challenge for a fifth Green Jacket faded on Friday as he struggled to a three-over par round of 75, eight shots off the lead.
The current world No.1 Luke Donald may also struggle to mount a challenge at the weekend. With three holes left to play of his second round he was also three-over par.
Reigning champion Charl Schwartzel is on the same score after completing a disappointing round of 75.
But an exciting weekend is guaranteed with 16 players within three shots of Couples and Dufner, including Phil Mickelson whose four-under par 68 lifted him to two-under par.
One shot ahead on three under par is a group of four players including America's Matt Kuchar (70) and Scotland's Paul Lawrie who shot a 72 to go with his opening 69.
Part of complete coverage on
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
CNN travels to the Arizona State University where budding golfers are combining training with studying.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
In the next four months Matt Fitzpatrick will play in the Masters, U.S. Open and the Open Championship.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
With more prize money and less travel on offer, many of the top European players are now playing the PGA Tour.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1650 GMT (0050 HKT)
Edoardo Molinari gives you tips on how to get more spin when using the wedge.
February 17, 2014 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
Henrik Stenson's accountant must be grinning from ear to ear after last year's incredible success. But the world No. 3 isn't getting carried away.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1831 GMT (0231 HKT)
Tiger Woods' career may or may not be on the wane, but the fortunes of his niece Cheyenne are most definitely on the rise.
Rory McIlroy looks to be back to his best, says Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue, but you can never rule out a wounded Tiger.
January 28, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
The year 1989 launched the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament and the baseball film "Field of Dreams" -- and they have much in common.
January 17, 2014 -- Updated 1119 GMT (1919 HKT)
This sub-zero snow challenge could provide the perfect off-piste adventure -- with the added bonus of seeing the Aurora Borealis.
January 7, 2014 -- Updated 1505 GMT (2305 HKT)
Remember the name: Jordan Spieth is only 20 years of age, but the golfer is already being mentioned in the same breath as Tiger Woods.
January 1, 2014 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
Golfer Rory McIlroy and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki usher in 2014 by announcing their engagement on social media.
December 24, 2013 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Sergio Garcia puts his hand in his pocket to help out a small Spanish football team -- and gets to live out his dream by getting involved on the pitch.
December 18, 2013 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
She's the teen queen of crazy golf -- at just 18 Olivia Prokopova has more Masters green jackets than Tiger Woods did at the same age.
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 1210 GMT (2010 HKT)
She's the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history and now teen sensation Lydia Ko looks set for a long and lucrative professional career.
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 1355 GMT (2155 HKT)
If the figures for childhood obesity in the U.S. are not shocking enough, statistics among Native Americans are yet more sobering.
Today's five most popular stories