Fred Couples withdraws from 2016 Masters with back injury

Fred Couples withdraws from 2016 Masters with back injury

Fred Couples has withdrawn from the 2016 Masters with a back injury.

Couples, the 1992 champion, will miss the Masters for the first time since 1994.

Couples' unpredictable back has long been an issue, restricting how often the University of Houston product can compete and how effectively he can play his smooth power game. He has also been forced away from a longer putter because of the adoption of the anchoring ban at the start of 2016. However, Augusta National has often proven some kind of foundation of youth for Couples. Before missing the weekend in 2015, Couples had finished in the top 20 in the prior for years of the event.

Couples has played sparingly in 2016, making just two PGA Tour Champions starts, including a runner-up finish at the Chubb Classic in February, and missing the cut at the Northern Trust Open, in what might have been his final start at Riviera.

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