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Northern Trust Open: Couples opens birdie-birdie, ties for lead

February 20, 2011 | 11:19 am

No sleeping in for the folks whose houses surround Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The noise isn't stopping so far. Sentimental favorite Fred Couples, the 51-year-old trying to become the oldest winner on the PGA Tour in 35 years, has opened birdie-birdie on Sunday in the final round of the Northern Trust Open. When Couples chipped in from just off the green at No. 2, the crowd collectively jumped as well as screamed.

Couples had begun the fourth round tied for second with Kevin Na of Rancho Cucamonga. They were a shot behind leader Aaron Baddeley of Australia. Playing in the final group, all three birdied the first hole as did 18 of the other 22 on the leaderboard. Robert Allenby and Matt Laird eagled the hole and Vaughn Taylor had to settle for an unsatisfactory par.

Couples and Baddeley are now tied for the lead at 11-under while Na, who bogeyed the second hole, and 47-year-old Vijay Singh are tied for third at nine-under. Allenby, with an eagle-birdie-par start is fifth at eight-under.

--Diane Pucin