Dufner charges, slips; ageless Couple putting on a show


The Associated Press Jason Dufner took a brief lead Friday at the Masters with three birdies in four holes before giving a stroke and the lead back with a bogie on No. 18.

With Lee Westwood opening the day with 10 straight pars, the chance opened up for someone to make a run at him.

And, finally, someone did.

Jason Dufner, playing under friendly blue skies and warming weather not afforded to the morning groups, went out even par but on the back nine started heating up. The Auburn graduate best known blowing a late lead at the PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club, birdied Nos. 13, 14 and 15 to take a brief lead Friday at 6-under. But Westwood finally unstuck himself from even par with a birdie on 15 to regain a share of the lead he's held most of the day.

Dufner then took a bogie on 18 to slip a shot back and give the lead back to Westwood.

But the story of Friday so far is Fred Couples. The 52-year old who won his only green jacket in 1992 is 5-under through 16 holes. He birdied the final three holes of the front nine and strung together two more birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 and is now a shot back and tied with Dufner at 5-under. Sergio Garcia is also 5-under on the day with three holes left to play.

Tiger Woods just teed off and is taking advantage of the late tee time, calmer weather and drying, sunny conditions. He opened with a birdie and is 1-under through his first four holes. Phil Mickelson is 2-under and Rory McIlroy is 3-under through 14 holes.