Seattle native Couples surges to 5-shot lead at Boeing Classic

He aces No. 9 en route to a 9-under 63 to take the lead after two rounds.

Associated Press

SNOQUALMIE — Fred Couples made a hole-in-one in a round of 9-under 63 on Saturday and built a five-shot lead after two rounds of the Boeing Classic, his hometown tournament that he is trying to win for the first time.

Couples made the ace on No. 9, using a 4 iron on the 203-yard hole. It was the highlight of another solid day from the Seattle native, who has posted consecutive bogey-free rounds.

“I hit it really solid right at it and it hit — I don’t know how it went in. It just hit and popped in,” Couples said. “Then I birdied a whole ton of holes after that.”

David Toms rebounded from a first-round 70 with a 9-under 63, and was tied for second at 11 under with Paul Broadhurst, who followed an opening 66 with a 67. Bernhard Langer (68), Ken Duke (66) and Stephen Leaney (68) are another stroke back at 10 under.

Couples shot a 7-under 65 in the first round at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge. The hole-in-one jump-started his round on Saturday as he went on to birdie five of the next six holes. Couples closed out the round with a birdie at the 18th for a 30 on the back nine.

Couples, who grew up about 30 minutes from the course, has never finished higher than a tie for third in the tournament. His five-shot lead entering the final round is the largest in tournament history.

“Tomorrow’s going to be a great day. We’ll see,” Couples said. “I’m going to have to — these guys aren’t shooting — they’re not far behind. I mean, Toms, they’re all 5 and 6 under, so I’m going to have to shoot whatever I have to shoot. I don’t want to win by one, I would like to win by nine. That would be easier.”

Toms, who started on the back nine, made five birdies and an eagle on his first nine holes Saturday to jump into contention.

First round leader Fred Funk faltered in the second round and shot a 4-over 76. Funk shot 64 and had a one-shot lead over Couples after the first round.

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