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July 1, 2017

Fred Couples

Peabody, Massachusetts

FRED COUPLES: You know, the wind was difficult. I think yesterday was windy too. But I think it blew a little harder today, and I didn't hit the ball that close a couple times. But overall, the bogies I made were three-putts. A couple of them were misjudging the wind. And then I got kind of lucky on 16. I misjudged the wind too with a wedge, 118 yards, and I hit it under the grandstands, but I chipped it 20 feet by and made it for par.

I struggled that way, but really -- I three-putted No. 3 from really not very far, not a hard putt. Then I three-putted No. 8 -- or 7 was a difficult one, and I three-putted another one, I think No. 11.

You just can't -- you can't get any momentum. And when you look at the leaders, when you're out there playing, you have to do that, and they're playing extremely well. They're getting 11, 12, 13 under. Now they're even more. At the time, you start to press a little bit when you're 6 under par, and the shots don't come off as easy.

But that's to their great play. I mean, to go a round, I think both of them are, what, 15? I think that's incredible, and it is because they're pretty much lapping everybody. I mean, Brandt Jobe played early, still was difficult, had an unreal score. But I think there's been one of those every day. So he's 9 under.

But if you take away his score, they're seven, eight shots ahead of the next guy, and he's moved up from a helluva round so he's right there.

But they're playing great golf, and go out there tomorrow -- I felt it was hard. I hadn't played -- I didn't play any last year except a couple times. And to be honest, it was hot and humid, and it was really hard for me to grip the club. My hands were dry but very sticky.

And to be honest, it's not something you just do overnight. I hit the ball okay, but there were a few shots that, even when I was over it, I just didn't feel that good. So maybe tomorrow, it will feel a little bit better.

I know that's a weird comment, but I am drenched, and I was drenched on the range, wearing a white shirt. But just the gumminess was an odd feel. It was really hot today. It was nice.

In ending, you know, the crowds here are incredible. I did not think we'd get this many people, and I don't know how many there are, but they're everywhere and it's very supportive and fun. It's a great event. I just need to play a lot better tomorrow just to move up.

Q. You said they're kind of lapping the field, but do you think someone could catch them tomorrow?
FRED COUPLES: Well, they have 17 and 18. So if they play them even par, maybe one of them bogeys the hole, they're hard. It's not like you cruise there and par 17 and 18. I mean, Brandt Jobe is third, is that correct? He's 9 under?

Kenny Perry is a top-notch player, and Kirk Triplett, this is a guy who can really, really play. So if they shoot 1 or 2 under, one of them, then Jobe's got to shoot 8 under again, correct? If they par, par, and they shoot 2 under for 17 under, he's got to shoot 62, 62. I just don't see that happening, but don't tell him that.

So it's a challenge. I mean, I went out there today, I thought I would shoot a better score. I didn't. But I felt okay with a 70. It didn't do me any good, but I still felt okay with it.

Tomorrow, the challenge is -- it's a real good U.S. Open course for us. I feel like I hit the ball far enough, but you've still got to maneuver it around the greens. They're really tough.

The first two days, I putted much better. But today was just really in the wrong spots. Even though you're not trying to get it on some stupid ledge, you still have to hit it where you know the ledge is there and you want to putt straight up, and I didn't do that twice today, and I left myself big breaking putts. Then you've got to judge the speed and the control of it, and I didn't do that a couple times, and it really cost me by kind of sloppy irons and not even trying to get cute with some of these pins.

A lot of them are on the front. I'd say a lot of them were not that difficult. But it is when you hit an iron and misjudge the wind and go 30 feet by. Then you've got to try to two-putt these things. It's hard.

They're not. They're cruising around here at 15 under. I mean, that's unreal.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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