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MASTERS TOURNAMENT


April 9, 2017


Fred Couples


Augusta, Georgia

Q. Great start.
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, it was a good start. And I actually thought I hit a really good shot on 3, and I watched it and I hit it halfway up the bank, which was shocking. But then I had an unbelievable birdie on 4.
So I got it going and the back nine is just really a hard nine. I don't play 13 and 15 particularly well. Everyone thinks you should birdie them. And I three‑putted 16 four straight days in a row, and maybe one of them was a tough putt. The other ones I've had every year. So that's kind of hard to swallow, four bogeys there, and you're on the green.
Other than that I had a good time.

Q. Have a chance for a top‑20?
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, I don't know. Whatever. 1‑over? Yeah, I was hoping to stay under par. And I had a great shot at it. I hit, for me, a good 3‑wood around the corner, I had 220 to the hole on 13. I don't want to say I hit a bad shot, because you can't go where I went, and it hit the bank and went in the water. But at the same time you're thinking you need to make eagle to do much. And that's kind of silly, because I'm never going to eagle that hole. At the same time I could have hit it where Dufner did, if I could have. I would love to. But it's a hard shot for me, it's a side hill lie and I cut the ball and the way the club comes on the ball it never works out. I wish I had hit a crappy drive where I could have laid up and probably would have made birdie, because the pin was pretty simple.
That's the bummer, because I had good plays on all of these par‑5s, and the front nine no problem. I can play 2 and 8. It's just with my length everyone thinks you should birdie 13 and 15. And if you look over the years I made so many 6's on those holes, it's crazy.

Q. There's a special bond between you and the patrons?
FRED COUPLES: I know, it's hard not to say fans, patrons, but it is very fun. Yesterday was really fun. I played the last four or five holes mediocre, too, but it's always nice to walk up 16, 17 and 18. It's a fun, great tournament. I enjoy it and I'll be back next year.

Q. Nobody ever shot four executive rounds in the 60s. Do you have a philosophy on that?
FRED COUPLES: I really don't. Because in the old days guys were really long‑‑ it's just a hard course. It's one of those where‑‑ I mean that's really getting the golf course four days in a row to shoot in the 60s. And it's hard to do. It's not a happenstance, it's never happened, I know it will here in the future because people hit the ball so far and but it's hard to play four‑‑ 69 is an incredible round. To do that four times is very hard.

Q. How does the back feel?
FRED COUPLES: It feels good. I'm a little tired, but it's no excuse. But mentally it's hard. It's tiring to play this course. The first two days was a wipeout. Yesterday was a lot of adrenaline for me, I'll be honest, but I played well. But today was very relaxed. There's still pressure, but I was in a good place to either shoot a good score, which I was cruising along going, or to finish no worse than I did. I was hoping to shoot par or 1‑under. And then when I was 3‑under I thought I might shoot something in the 60s, with these par‑5s you can birdie on the back. And I just didn't do it.

Q. Do you have to do anything special for your back to keep it‑‑
FRED COUPLES: Well, I brought the guy I was seeing, here, Chad. We were here seven days, and he beat me up every day. I kid myself if he wasn't here that I could have played as well. So it was very good to bring him here, and he was a big help.

Q. You're definitely coming back next year?
FRED COUPLES: Coming back, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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