Dr. Snowball might be making house calls next week at Shinnecock Hills if Fred Couples keeps playing like this.
After night and morning acupuncture sessions with Halina Snowball in Greenwich, Conn., the 44-year-old Couples shot a bogey-free 6-under-par 65 yesterday to take the second-round lead in the Buick Classic at Harrison, N.Y.
"As soon as I left her office [Thursday], I didn't have any pain in my back," Couples said. "I don't get it, but I'm going to keep trying it. To me, it's unbelievable what they can do."
Coming off a second-place finish last week in the Memorial, Couples birdied the final two holes on the Westchester Country Club course to take a one-stroke lead over Vijay Singh, Fredrik Jacobson, and young playing partner Luke Donald.
"I've kept the ball in play, which is the key here," said Couples, who played with acupuncture pins in his ears.
Couples's wife, Thais, tried to talk him into withdrawing Wednesday night to rest his back for the US Open next week at Shinnecock Hills.
"I snuck out of there Thursday when she was still sleeping," Couples said. "She's downtown with the kids now. She'll come home and I'll tell her I'm leading the tournament and she's going to have a heart attack."
Couples took advantage of Jacobson's double bogey on the par-5 ninth -- his last hole -- to top the leaderboard at 10 under.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson and two-time Buick Classic winner Ernie Els were 5 under. Mickelson had a 68, and Els -- the Memorial winner -- shot a 69. "I think 5 under is within striking distance," Mickelson said.
European -- Miles Tunnicliff shot a 4-under 68 in the second round of the Scottish PGA's
Nationwide -- Dicky Pride, Brett Wetterich, Victor Schwamkrug, and Jeff Street carded 65s to share the first-round lead at the LaSalle Bank Classic in Glenview, Ill. Chestnut Hill's James Driscoll is among four players one stroke off the pace.
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Officials of the
Jim McCabe of the Globe staff contributed to this report.