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2011 Northern Trust Open: Fred Couples Soars To Second-Round Lead, Jim Gray Pulled From Broadcast

In a blast from the past at the 2011 Northern Trust Open, Fred Couples shot a 66 in the second round to take a two-stroke lead before play was halted due to darkness. Couples, who won the tournament in 1990 and 1992, is a longtime favorite on the tour. The play of the 51-year old Couples surprised his peers, per the Associated Press:

"He played like he was my age," said 25-year-old Anthony Kim, who was paired with Couples and was nine shots behind. "He was loose, swinging hard. He hit some quality shots, some aggressive shots. It doesn’t hurt that he’s won here a couple of times. He just knows what he’s doing out here."

J.B. Holmes, John Senden, and Spencer Levin are all at six under par, two strokes back. Holmes and Senden have finished their second round, while Levin is through 15 holes. The full leaderboard is available here.

Meanwhile, Jim Gray continued to be Jim Gray, and finally paid a price for it. The Golf Channel pulled Gray from their broadcast team for this weekend after what was termed Thursday as a profanity-laced argument with Bobby Brown, the caddy for Dustin Johnson, who took a two-stroke penalty and was nearly disqualified for showing up late. From Emily Kay of Waggle Room:

Johnson incurred a two-stroke penalty for missing his 7:32 a.m. tee time Thursday. Brown took his complaints about Gray to reporters and Gray himself following the round, after which Golf Channel lowered the boom -- perhaps for the final time. Golf Channel spokesperson Dan Higgins declined to comment about Gray’s future, saying it was "an internal issue."

As for Gray’s ouster from the Northern Trust Open broadcast team, Golf Channel issued this statement Friday: "Our focus is to provide the best possible golf coverage for our viewers. Anything else is a disservice. In order to avoid further distraction, we've decided to remove Jim from this particular assignment."