Fred Couples, left, and Xander Schauffele chat on the 10th hole during their practice round.
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | Late morning Tuesday as the spring chill was burning off, Fred Couples, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele set off down the hill from Augusta National’s first tee for a leisurely practice session in advance of an overdue April Masters.
Despite his now silver hair, the 61-year old Couples seems forever young here even though he’s a generation or more removed from his playing companions, both of whom are likely to contend on the weekend.
Beyond being in the company of Couples, who remains the coolest guy in any room he enters, there are tactical advantages for Cantlay and Schauffele in going around Augusta National with the man who made 23 consecutive cuts here.
Like no other tournament site, Augusta National honors – and oftentimes rewards – experience. For players who don’t yet have the benefit of years going around the course, there are those – like Couples – who become mentors of sorts, offering ad...
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