Couples: "I think my time's running out."

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Golf World's John Strege talks at length with Fred Couples, who considers his made cut and T38 at the Masters a victory given the poor state of his back.

Couples gives it a go at this week's U.S. Senior Open and at the Senior Open at St. Andrews but beyond that he's not sure he'll play much more competitive golf.

The trials of bending are evident in the makeup of his golf clubs. The longest iron in his bag is a 5-iron, for now. “I no longer have a 4-iron,” he said. “I have five woods in my bag [three of them hybrids] and the next one to go out will probably be my 5-iron, because [hybrids] are just a little longer and they’re easier to hit and I don’t have to bend down.”

To test his back, “to see if I could play,” in advance of the senior event last week, Couples played in the member-guest at his home club, Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif. “I played a practice round and three days, and I didn’t move very well Sunday or Monday.

“To be honest with you, the last couple years my back has been not so good."