As the elder statesman of his pairing, Fred Couples showed the kids who was boss, finishing his first round at The Masters with a 1-under 71 on the scorecard, placing him in the thick of things. Couples is six shots back of leader Rory McIlroy, but is in the middle of the pack, tied with Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. It wasn’t a spectacular round by any means, just solid golf as Couples navigated Augusta National with care to finish at 1-under.
Couples took advantage of the first par five on the course, sinking a birdie on the second hole to move to 1-under. He gave the shot back on the hole No. 4, a lengthy par three, before closing his front nine with a bird on No. 9 to get back to 1-under.
On the back nine, it was relatively calm for Couples, but a birdie on hole No. 12, the tricky par three in the middle of Amen Corner, is something to be proud of. Couples gave it back on No. 17 as he was unable to scramble for par, taking a bogey five to move back to 1-under, where he finished.
The first round 71 puts Couples in a tie for 22 with 10 players at the moment as Couples impressed once again early in a major. McIlroy holds the clubhouse lead at 7-under, followed by Y.E. Yang at 5-under.
A full leaderboard can be found at The Masters website. For more on the tournament, check out the rest of our 2011 Masters StoryStream. Head on over to SB Nation Atlanta for a local angle or check out SB Nation’s full coverage of the 2011 Masters.