Couples landed 14 greens in regulation and converted three birdies, including a left-to-right, long-range bender at the par-4 fifth. It's the fourth time in five editions that he's signed for a red number on Thursday, a feat he achieved only six times in his first 25 trips. Boom Boom was born for Augusta National, cracking the top 15 in each of his last four trips after turning 50.
While a balky back has limited his run up to this week, it may not matter.
It was all about ball-striking today as he circled six birdies and five of them came on putts from inside six feet.
Making his 32nd start at this event, this will go in the books as his 29th cut made here and 43rd time he's positioned himself inside the top 10 after any Masters round.
In 32 starts, he's missed the cut just four times while reaching the podium on six occasions, winning two of those.
Boom Boom deserves a second look in deeper formats this week.
Couples had missed the cut in his last four PGA TOUR appearances, dating back to 2014, but he always finds the magic after driving down Magnolia Lane.
The 1992 champ is 28-for-31 at Augusta National Golf Club, but one of those missed cuts came in his latest appearance (2015) and he missed last year's edition due to injury.
Boom Boom always gets up for this big game, posting top 25s in 19 of his 30 appearances at ANGC.
It's the second consecutive edition in which he's posted red numbers in the first two rounds, and the third time in the last four.
Oh, the beauty of the sport of golf when even a 54-year-old former Masters champion can make noise in the opening round.
Couples retreated early, with three bogeys to just one birdie on his outward nine.
He made up some ground on the back nine at Augusta National, more than erasing his two bogeys with three birdies.