Northern Trust Open notes: Fred Couples misses the cut

Couples, two-time winner at Riviera and a fan favorite, bogeys the 18th hole to miss the cut by one

Fan favorite Fred Couples faded down the second-round stretch and will fail to make the cut in his 33rd appearance at the Northern Trust Open.

Second-round play was suspended at 6:05 p.m. with one player, Alex Prugh, left to finish.

That won't impact the final cut line, which will fall at three over par.

The 55-year-old Couples ended up at four-over 146.

He appeared in great shape of playing the weekend after making birdie on the par-three No. 14 hole. That put him at one over. Couples closed, though, with three bogeys over his last four to finish four-over 75. His week ended when he missed six-foot par putt on his final hole, the par-four 18th.

Couples is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first of two wins at Riviera. He won the event in 1990 and 1992.

Other name players missing the cut at four over included Davis Love III, two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton and Luke Donald.

Worst-week-for-a-superstar award goes to Ernie Els, who shot rounds of 78-76.

Couples isn't the only former Northern Trust champion going home. He'll be joined by Bill Haas, Rory Sabbatini, John Merrick, Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley.

Two-time champion Mike Weir, citing an elbow injury, withdrew after seven holes Friday. He was four over for the day and 11 over for the tournament.

For Weir, who won the Northern Trust in 2003 and 2004 and is a former Masters champion, it was the ninth withdrawal of his career.

More about the contenders

Ryan Moore, one back at five-under 137, is playing well this season. He has three top-25 finishes in six starts, including a November win at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur.

Moore is making his ninth start at the Northern Trust, with his best finish a tie for fourth in 2011.

Canada's Graham DeLaet, also five under, is looking for his first PGA Tour win. He does have three Canadian Tour victories.

This and that

Justin Thomas is making his first start at the Northern Trust. He will be 21, nine months and 24 days on Sunday. Jordan Spieth turns 22 in July. The youngest winner of the event is Pat Fitzsimons, who was 24 when he won in 1975. ... Brendon Todd, who stands at one-under 141, was the only first-round player to play a bogey-free round. There were no bogey-free rounds Friday. ... Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover (four over) didn't make the cut, but he left Riviera with one big thrill. He scored a hole in one Friday with an eight-iron, from 152 yards, on the par-three sixth hole. It was the first ace in the tournament since Joe Ogilvie made one at No. 16 in 2012.

Back to school

Will Zalatoris had an easier time getting into the tournament than staying in it. The 18-year-old freshman from Wake Forest earned an exemption Monday by defeating 13 other players in the Northern Trust Open Collegiate Challenge.

Zalatoris blew away his competition with a four-under 67.

The actual tournament, though, proved the bigger challenge. Zalatoris missed the cut after he followed an opening 76 with an even-par 71, missing the cut by two shots.

How it played

The most difficult second-round hole was the par-four ninth, which played to an average of 4.41. The second-hardest was the par-four eighth at 4.35. The easiest hole, not surprisingly, was the 503-yard opening par five with an average of 4.29. There were 12 eagles and 80 birdies on the first, with 45 pars, three bogeys and one double bogey.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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