Fred Couples may well have finished out his last PGA Tour start in Los Angeles on Friday.
The 56-year-old shot 1-over 72 in the second of the Northern Trust Open, with his 4-over two-round total leaving him off the weekend tee shot by four shots.
Couples, who has made 34 appearances at Riviera in the old Los Angeles Open and its sponsor-driven name iterations over the years, may not be coming back. At last week’s PGA Tour Champions stop in Naples, Fla., Couples suggested this could be his last time at the event — before backtracking.
“Probably be my last L.A. Open,” Couples said, according to Golfweek. Then, as quickly as he said that, Couples added, “Well, maybe not; maybe not.”
It would be hard for Couples to let go here. He’s a two-time winner (1990 and ’92). He nearly won in 2009 when he finished T-3. In what may well have been his last hoorah here, he was T-7 in 2011. He’s only made the cut once since.
The question, then, for the 1992 Masters champion isn’t if he wants to play in this event. He does. Rather, the question is if Hyundai, the new title sponsor of the event starting next year, is willing to have him.
“There is a new sponsor next year and I need a sponsor exemption, so we will see,” Couples said. “I’d like to play another year or two, but it all depends if I play well.”