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Even with that aching back, he has to return Sunday. He said he’ll try his best, but he’s not trying to build any hope for all those Freddie Fans out there.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I need to shoot a 65. I’m not going to shoot a 65,” Couples said. “It would be nice to sit here and tell you that, but I’m going to go out and play my best and certainly shoot better than 75. I’d hope I could do better than that.”


NOTHING TO PROVE: Quick! Name the player with the most majors over the last five years.

No, it’s not that Tiger Woods guy. Phil Mickelson is a good guess, but it’s not him, either.

Try Padraig Harrington, who won back-to-back British Opens in 2007 and 2008, as well as the 2008 PGA Championship.

It may have been a few years since the Irishman won a major _ been a while since he’s been in contention, really. But he feels no pressure going into Sunday’s final round at the Masters, even if he is quietly lurking five strokes behind leader Peter Hanson.

“I don’t need to go out there and prove anything tomorrow,” Harrington said. “I’m in a great position in that sense. I’ve won three majors, I’m going to win more majors, so I don’t have to do it tomorrow. That’s not my one-and-only chance.

“There are players out there who have not won a major who feel like, `I have to take this chance because they have not come around.’ Having won three, I realize that they do actually come around and they will come around. I don’t need to panic tomorrow.”

Harrington tied for fifth at Augusta National in 2008, but has missed the cut the last two years. He has only one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour this year, and that was back in February. Last weekend in Houston, he was 71st.

But even if he’s struggling with his game, there’s no denying Harrington has talent. After playing the first 11 holes at 1 over, he closed with five birdies in his last six holes.

“I can pick three or four tournaments this year where I’ve had four or five in a row in six holes in terms of birdies, so I made hay when it was going well,” Harrington said. “When things are going well, you have to make birdies. That’s very much what Augusta is like. When things are going, take your chances, because you’ll get a few which go against you, and you’ve got to make up for those dropped shots at times.”


BACK IN THE GAME: Henrik Stenson already has a snowman and a double bogey on his scorecard at the Masters.

Yet somehow, he’s still hanging around.

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