HARRISON, N.Y. – Fred Couples shot a 5-under 66 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Senior Players Championship, the Champions Tour’s final major of the season.

Couples is at 8 under for the tournament and trying for his fifth Champions Tour victory. Playing in his first event since undergoing non-traditional back treatment six weeks ago in Germany, Couples has put together two solid rounds at Westchester Country Club’s West Course.

“I drove the ball very well,” Couples said. “I didn’t make many mistakes. … I don’t want to say I left any out there. I did miss a couple but I made a few too, so it was a good day.”

Couples turned in his best two opening rounds since the Northern Trust Open in California in February. After a seventh-place finish there, Couples struggled in his next three tournaments, which led him to have the procedure.

Peter Senior remained in second place at 7 under after a second-round 69.

Corey Pavin was third at 6 under after a second-round 69. John Cook was fourth at 5 under after a second-round 68, one stroke ahead of defending champion Mark O’Meara. O’Meara shot a 70 and is in a three-way tie at 4 under with first-round leader Jeff Sluman (73) and Morris Hatalsky (67).

Gary Hallberg, who tied with Senior in the first round, fell seven strokes behind with a 75.

Couples seemed headed toward a strong round Thursday but faltered on the back nine. He was in danger of a repeat after bogeying No. 12 but rescued the round with birdies on the 13th and 15th holes, sinking putts of 15 and 8 feet.

“To be in contention is good for me, to go out (today) and kind of get the feeling of having to hit a good shot here, make a putt there or get it up and down,” Couples said. “So I’m in good spirits about the way I’m feeling and playing.” 

LPGA: Na Yeon Choi double-bogeyed the par-4 18th hole, but her 6-under 65 held up for the first-round lead at the Safeway Classic in North Plains, Ore.

Grace Park, who has withdrawn or been cut in 38 of her last 67 tournaments, was two strokes back with a 67. Se Ri Pak, Anna Nordqvist, M.J. Hur and Ashli Bunch all shot 68s as golfers with later tee times struggled against brisk afternoon breezes. 

PGA: Tommy Gainey shot a 65 to move to 12-under 128 and take a three-stroke lead after two rounds of the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C.

Gainey, who shared the first-round lead with Jeff Quinney, had six birdies and has the second-best 36-hole score in tournament history.

Ernie Els (66), Webb Simpson (65), Stuart Appleby (67) and Daniel Summerhays (65) were at 131. 

EUROPEAN TOUR: Jose Manuel Lara shot a 4-under 68 to move into first at the Czech Open in Celadna, Czech Republic, after rain cut short the second round.