Fred Couples will be missing the Masters for the first time since 1994 after experiencing acute back pain that will keep the former champ out of the field. With the absence of Couples, this year’s field is now down to 89 players, the fewest since 2002.
Couples has only played three times this year with just one of those starts — a missed cut at Riviera where he visibly struggled with back pain — being on the PGA Tour.
Despite being 56 years old and competing against players less than half his age, Couples has continued to remain relevant at the year’s first major. The 1992 Masters winner shared the 36-hole lead at Augusta in 2012 and was just one shot behind heading into the weekend the following year.