FRED Couples gave himself a chance to become the oldest champion in major golf history at age 54 with back-to-back 71s at the Masters but now his true test begins.
Couples, the 1992 Masters winner, shared seventh on two-under par 142 after 36 holes at Augusta National, five strokes off the pace of 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson entering the weekend.
"Can I win? Yeah. I really think I can win. I've got to play really good golf," Couples said. "Would I want to put on another jacket here? Yeah.
"But I've got 36 holes. I need to play better than I did the last two days. And I felt like I played really well. I've got my work cut out for me.
"I'm very excited because I hit the ball well. I have to keep plugging along and not worry about anybody but myself."
Couples led a record six 50-and-over players into the weekend. The old mark for Champions Tour-aged players to make the cut was four, most recently done last year.
Fiji's 51-year-old Vijay Singh, the 2000 Masters champion, and 56-year-old German Bernhard Langer, the Masters winner in 1985 and 1993, will be playing partners in the middle of the pack Saturday.
Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, 50, and 56-year-old Scotsman Sandy Lyle, the 1988 Masters champion, tee off together early, Lyle on 148, one behind Jimenez.
And 55-year-old American Larry Mize, who chipped in from 140 feet on the second playoff hole to beat Greg Norman for the 1987 green jacket, is on 146.
Jack Nicklaus is the oldest Masters champion at age 46 from his 1986 victory and Julius Boros is the oldest major winner, winning the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48.
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