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December 16, 1993

Fred Couples


Q. General comments?

FRED COUPLES: I haven't played in a couple of weeks, so I am not too disappointed with 71. I felt like I recovered pretty well. When I played a good hole, I didn't hit a very good putt, 3 putt a couple of times from not very far, but I drove the ball in the rough a few times, and got away with some pretty decent lies; overall, you know, I am right in the middle pack, which is where I should be shooting even par on a calm day, but hopefully pick it up tomorrow and come out and play a little better.

Q. There are not many people that would take a driver off the 10th tee, is it a bit --

FRED COUPLES: See, that is the problem. I have played here two years in a row and the wind has been blowing 50 miles an hour, and you just kind of forget that the hole without any wind, it sounds stupid, but a 2-iron and 8-iron or 9-iron, I just usually hit a low-cut driver in the wind, and I tried the same today, and I just pushed a little bit. It had just gotten to the right side, so as far as that, that was a mistake. But you are right; tomorrow, if it is the same -- my problem was I tried to practice most of the day yesterday. I only played 7, 8 holes, and the front nine I didn't go out. I played the last 7 holes.

Q. You spend a lot of time when you putt --


Q. Was that catching up --

FRED COUPLES: It worked out okay. But also there were -- like I made a lucky par on, I guess, number 7, for some reason, there was no wind. I hit a 2-iron off the tee. I pulled it left and junk, I had like 220 to the hole. Why a 2-iron iron, I don't know. But I ended up getting it on par. Same as you said, number 10 is not a driver at all, so tomorrow I will at least figure out a couple of more holes and I hope it blows like normal. It will be nice to play this course like it usually does, real hard.

Q. It certainly played the first time you played it?

FRED COUPLES: Yeah, it sure did.

Q. Is it shorter? Is this course shorter this year?

FRED COUPLES: Well, there is just no wind. It has dried up; I wasn't here when it rained Tuesday, but today the course was pretty good. There were a couple of bad spots; muddy, but the fairways were good. It is not playing very long. It is just tricky. You get the ball in the wrong spot and it is hard to make a putt. But 5 under, I think Bernie, Els, four under, those are real good scores, one or two under is also a very good score. And I think you are so used to playing this course so defensively that when there is no wind, at least for me, I really didn't know how to quite play the whole course. I mean, you are so used to, you know, playing the hole downwind; hitting a 9-iron off the tee; trying to hit the fairway; trying to hit it ten feet off the ground.

Q. Played a lot different today than the past?

FRED COUPLES: Yeah, and I think tomorrow if it stays calm again, I think we will start shooting some better scores, -- again most of the field -- but on the other hand, you know, if the wind blows, we will go back to normal 72s, and 3s and even pars.

Q. Sounds like a silly question, but would you like the a win?

FRED COUPLES: This is a great tournament, oh sure.

Q. Been a long year, but I mean --

FRED COUPLES: Not looking forward-- to I just couldn't see practicing and playing the last two weeks to get ready for this tournament and then really take almost two and a half to three weeks off and then do it again. I didn't shoot myself out a tournament at all. I hit the ball fairly well. As far as if I can win, I think I am playing well enough where if I start to putt and have a real good day tomorrow or Saturday, you never know on Sunday obviously, but I think it is a great tournament. It is fun being down here and whoever wins is going to be a lot more under par than normal because of the weather, so it will be tough to, you know, for me to shoot 9 or 10 under being even par now.

Q. What are you going to do between after you take the two and a half weeks off?

FRED COUPLES: Actually I am going to go home and have Christmas. Then I am going to go to Las Vegas for three days and then go to Palm Springs for the first, second, third and fourth and practice; then go to LaCosta.

Q. Where are you going to play on the west coast?

FRED COUPLES: I don't know, Steve, LaCosta, I don't know the order. I am not going to go to Phoenix, Tucson or Hawaii or the ATT but I am going to play L.A., San Diego and then play all of them in Florida and Hope, that is right.

Q. You play Hope, L.A. and San Diego?

FRED COUPLES: Yeah, so I will play 4 of the 7.

Q. Does it surprise you that a couple of players took a pass; decided not to come here?

FRED COUPLES: Who were those players?

Q. Price, Norman, Stewart?

FRED COUPLES: I don't know. I don't think it is a surprise. It is awfully close to Christmas. If I was lucky enough to get in this tournament 10 straight years I am sure I would miss it once or twice because of you know, one or two things and they chose not to come. It is difficult not to have them here, but if the-- Price is over in South Africa and didn't want to make the trip for one week and get back on the 21st or 22nd before Christmas, that is the way it goes, but as far as the tournament, you know, it is a great tournament. It is unfortunate they are not all here because then it would be probably one of the strongest fields of the year. But I look forward to trying and beating the guys that are here and I hope 27 of them all go home tomorrow night, then I can just show up for Saturday and Sunday an win easily.

Q. This is your third year here at the tournament. What do you think of the course this year as opposed to last year?

FRED COUPLES: Well, virtually I think it is the same except the 10th hole, that is where I hit the out of bounds. That green has been changed. They did a very good job there. And then from the first year the 16th, the new par three, which is a great par 3, so it is getting better. But it is very close to being the same as last year. Except the rough is not nearly as thick.

Q. Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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