Couples to take break from golf after Masters

Fred Couples hits his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia.

Fred Couples hits his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia.

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fred Couples’ 27th Masters had a little bit of everything, but in the end Couples couldn’t make a run and finished the day with a 73.

The 1992 champion came to Augusta National with his back not quite right, an aliment that has plagued him most of the last 20 years, but with the Masters calling, the 51–year-old decided to give it a shot and then take some significant time off.

“I’m just a little out of it,” Couples said, referencing the medication he was taking. “Taking so much stuff that I just, I hit some pulls, hit some pushes – I feel light-headed, but I made it and I think this stuff, no excuse, it’s wearing off, but I did as well as I could.”

Like many champions before him, Couples has had great success at Augusta with 11 top 10s, including a sixth last year, but the back could not handle four days and Couples will return to his home and more treatment.

“I’m going to go back to Texas and see these guys that were working on me and try and have a game plan,” Couples said after his final round on Sunday. “But I think I’m going to be off for at least a month just to get away and see if it will thaw out. It’s been the same since October and those shots were pretty fun, but I can’t live on those, so I got to figure out what to do and see what happens. “

If all goes well, Couples will return for either the Tradition or the Sr. PGA Championship, but even Couples is not sure of when he will return.

“I took all of December off and then and first day I went back out and hitting, it felt horrible. But that night it was the same way, so I have had not a million, but a thousand different people tell me they could fix it and I’ve yet to find someone who can so far. But I’ll keep trying and see what happens.”

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