FRED COUPLES: So, the U.S. Open is coming up, yeah. I'm going to have my game ready there. I think when Payne Stewart beat Scott Simpson in Minnesota, I finished third and that's the best I have ever played and that was the closest to those guys. They were, I think, three or four ahead. That's not really my goal. That's a tough, tough week. But I feel like this will help me to play there and the British Open is another one I feel like I can still win, no doubt.
U.S. Open is probably the toughest course of the year. I'm very excited and thrilled to be in it. I was ready to go qualify in Ohio. I tried last year and missed, so this year will be a lot more fun. I can really prepare for it and not have to go out and play 36 holes one day and try to make it.
Q. You said earlier that this course here as a little bit of a U.S. Open feel to it yourself, do you think under the right setup that this course could host a major championship?
FRED COUPLES: Oh, I think so, no doubt. We're going to find out Saturday and Sunday how hard it is with just the right amount of rough. Again, the greens are going to be really, really tough come the weekend. It's going to dry out. If there's a lot of nooks and crannies, I have no idea, it was so wet and sloppy. Tomorrow is going to be a lot faster. I'm sure there will be a lot of spots when I go up there that I'll say, "How do I 2-putt with this big ridge?" But that's part of it, everyone has to do that. Today I made several 5-, 6-, 8-footers for par.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Let's go over your card.
FRED COUPLES: 2, I hit a 9-iron 20 feet and made it.
No. 8, I hit a good drive and a sand wedge to about eight feet.
10, I knocked it just on the fringe to the right about 40 feet and 2-putted for birdie. Hit a 3-wood on the right fringe.
11, I hit it out of the left rough to about 30 feet and made a downhill curler.
14, I hit an iron off the tee and hit a wedge to about 20 feet and made it. On 15, I hit a driver and a 3-wood about 40 feet and 2-putted for birdie.
10 was like 280 down the hill.
And on 15, well, I think like 256 up the hill.
Q. Did you originally not plan to play here and add it late?
FRED COUPLES: You know, I wasn't, but I talked to Johnny Harris at Augusta and he talked my wife to coming. She flew in today. So, we're here, and I'm glad. For a new tournament, they are not trying so hard, they know what they are doing. Trying is when maybe you don't have the greatest thing and you do a lot of things. This thing has huge crowds today in the first round, a great course. I drive a Cadillac and I notice every other player has a Mercedes, which is a nice thing. I think this will be one of the one of the top two except for the World Golf Championships, majors and TPC. It has a lot going for it, and even if I didn't play well today, it was still well worth coming.
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