home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 29, 2002

Fred Couples


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thanks for coming in. Great round today, 6 under par 64 puts you at 16 under. It looks like you're probably going to finish tied for second. Let's get some comments from you. You played really well this week.

FRED COUPLES: I'm thrilled to death. I don't even know the last tournament I had a shot at winning. I can't even make one up, so it was a lot of fun. I have never been here. I guess I can say I didn't hear a whole lot of great things from a lot of players, and now I don't understand why. I thought it was a great course.

My caddie caddied for Justin last year, and they won. So he knew quite a bit about the course, which helped. And I seem to putt very well on bermuda greens. I don't believe I 3-putted all week, which is one reason why, you know, I worked my way up the leaderboard and I made a lot of putts. From not playing much this summer, it seemed like I did a little bit of practicing with shorter irons and that was a big deal this week. I had a lot of good 7, 8, and 9-irons. My back has not been good this summer. That's the reason I only played the Buick and the International, back-to-back. I came here seeing Tom Boros for a couple of weeks. He came in here and fixed it, and there's not much else I can say. I played really well and it was a lot of fun.

Q. It looks like the lie you had on 17 was just awful.

FRED COUPLES: For me. I don't know. You know, I'm a normal fader of the ball. And that particular hole I was right in between clubs with a 6 or a 7, and I thought the best shot I could hit at the time -- I figured no one is going to birdie this hole, probably, so a good par will keep me right where I'm going.

Being a little on edge, I kind of flipped out a 6-iron, which kept it from cutting and it was on the left side of the green. And the lie you're talking about was, it took a kick to the right, but it ended up sticking right next to the short collar and the thick collar and it was sitting just gnarly and I couldn't get a club on it, and it came out soft and I ended 20 feet short. I just didn't hit a very good shot. The lie, I don't know even know how to do it out of that lie. I would have loved to have made par there and put a little more pressure on Fred at the time, and then obviously Loren.

Q. How are you feeling physically this year, this week?

FRED COUPLES: Well, I mean, physically, this year, it has been not very good. This whole summer, after the Kemper, I tried to qualify for the U.S. Open and I didn't, and then I went home. I've had nothing but problems, half of June, all of July, quite a bit in August, besides those two tournaments that I got through. You know, that's just been part of my kind of happening for a few years. It doesn't keep me from playing good golf. It will keep me from playing golf, and that's the problem.

For instance, I felt pretty healthy the last couple of weeks. I practiced enough not to overdo it and came here and I had a good Saturday and Sunday, but if I don't get better, I won't do this very often. There's just no way I can compete. You know, lying in bed for two or three days at a time and thinking I have it fixed. And then two different times I was on the golf course feeling great and my back went out on the third hole at home and I walked in.

And then another time I was just on the driving range, and I was going to try to play Vancouver and had to withdraw. And from that point I just decided until I was really, really well, I wouldn't compete. My wife came and we had a good week. My good weeks are based on how my back feels. And if I finished second, which I haven't for a long time, or 42nd, it's something I can draw on and go play the next week. In a lot of these tournaments, I just haven't been able to feel really good two weeks in a row. Not an excuse, just the way it goes. Right now I felt great.

Q. When did Tom come in to help you?

FRED COUPLES: Tuesday night, and left Wednesday morning, not even ten hours.

Q. Why San Antonio? Was it just the week on the calendar, or Paul's influence in Houston or was there a reason?

FRED COUPLES: A few weeks ago we were talking about it. I said, "I'm thinking about going to go play San Antonio" My wife had never been here, so that had a lot to do with it. Just to go play somewhere -- I have to play sometime. I haven't played but twice since the Kemper Open. That's not a whole lot, so I picked here. Whether it's warm or not is irrelevant.

I just really felt like the course, after seeing it, would be good for me on Tuesday. It was windy and I thought it was a pretty hard course, and as we know the wind died and the course got quicker and that's why you have these scores. I certainly had a good time.

Q. You played well all week. Coming down the back nine, you had a share of the lead for a while there. Knowing all the problems you've had physically this year, was there a surprising element to you when you were coming down knowing you were in the lead?

FRED COUPLES: The only bad thing that happened, I got a little bit jumpy on the 12th hole. I had been hitting 2-iron off the tee and yesterday into the wind, I smoked a 3-wood and I kind of thought, Do I want to hit 2-iron and have a much longer shot, and I said, Look, you've been out here long enough, you can hit a good 2-iron off the tee. I pulled it in the bunker and I got a little bit of a sandy lie in the trap and I hit as much of it as I could but it got up in the air and it got over the creek, but down short pin-high on the right and I made a lucky 5.

Other than that I felt good, made a lot of birdies. I kind of relied on the fact that I feel like I can play golf, and whether I'm in the lead or not, I can still do all right.

The 17th hole was just -- it was a so-so shot. I wish I had hit that better. Obviously Loren and Fred have a few they wish they could have hit better. I just was afraid to really hit a pretty shot, and I hammered it. It was long and left and I made bogey there. I've hit worse shots in my life.

Q. You were coming down the stretch in the lead with Loren and Fred, three 40-something guys, I think, right?

FRED COUPLES: I know I am. Loren is a lot older than I am, because I played with him in the first two rounds.

Q. How cool was that?

FRED COUPLES: I never even thought about that. I knew Fred was right behind us and the crowd was going nuts for he and Pat. Every time I looked back, they were way down the fairways and right in the middle of them, and I'm sure Fred will come in here and tell you, he must have had a stretch where he probably birdied 5 out of 6 or 7 holes.

I bogeyed 12, and then hit it close on the par 3 and made birdie there. And then when I walked off the tee, all of a sudden, he's 16 under. I'm thinking, wow, 16 under where did that come from. Loren had a lot of holes to play. I played with him in the first two rounds. He's playing really well. I figured, hey, the more birdies I can make, maybe it will make it harder for Loren to birdie these holes. I don't think Fred and I slowed down, but Loren was right there and I'm sure he birdied 14, the par 5, and 16.

Q. You weren't aware of the fact that you three guys, 40-somethings. But looking at it now, that's pretty --

FRED COUPLES: What crossed my mind is that Fred Funk is 16 under and going crazy and obviously he got it to 17 under. I don't really look at them different, whether they're 22 or 50.

Q. That's pretty neat, though.

FRED COUPLES: I think so. It's neat for me. Like I say, I haven't -- the Ryder Cup just ended today. Does this count for Ryder Cup points?

Q. The last two mornings, how much of the Ryder Cup, did you watch? Did maybe watching those guys serve some kind of motivation when you were on top of world rankings and you played in all the Ryder cups, watching those guys of TV was that --

FRED COUPLES: We finished yesterday and ran back to the room and watched seven or eight holes. We went and watched Friday, down on the Riverwalk. We don't get USA here at this fine hotel we're staying, so we had to go downtown and watch it. So I watched a lot, and then this morning, I didn't get up at 6:15, but I got up at 8:00.

Motivation, I think, you know, I would have stayed until 11:30. I teed off at 12:09 to watch if Tiger -- that was my motivation. I wasn't going to leave until this thing was decided. I'm -- I don't know the word, I'm proud of the team, but I'm not part of the team, but I enjoyed watching them. They came up short. I really liked David Duval, his finish. Obviously they just -- they always make a few more putts. When we play extremely well, we beat them. When it's close, Europe has always pulled out a miraculous shot. Azinger pulled his bunker shot and it looks like Furyk was going to make his to really turn things around.

They beat us. I didn't have any motivation to go out and play better today. I've been playing well. I was a little bit sick -- the second day I was 7 under on the 5th hole, I believe, and we walked by the leaderboard. I think 7 or 6 under, I can't really remember, and they had the scores up, and they had us -- the way it was looking we were going to be down 7 to 1. So I'm standing over the ball and I rope-hooked it into the brush and made a bogey. And then when we finished, they had a couple of scores wrong. So we were only down I think four and a half, three and a half at the end of the day. But that was an immediate sick feeling, that's the only time. When we looked at the board and they had the scores, they didn't have what was correct, and it was 7 to 1. And I thought, wow, this is not a good feeling. Even though I'm 10,000 miles away, I didn't like to see those results.

Again, getting back to this, I'm playing Las Vegas, which is a lot like this course, so I'm looking forward to that. And Disney has the same kind of grass, which is good. If I played well here, I know I'm going to the same types of courses and I feel like I'll do well there.

Obviously, I haven't played this well in two or three years, so I'm not going to do this every week, but I also know I can play well, and better than I'm doing, so I'll go away, looking like I'm a good player again for five days.

Q. Coming down the stretch there with Loren, the kind of steady player he is, did you realize that you couldn't afford any hiccups coming down the stretch? Talk about Loren and the kind of player he is.

FRED COUPLES: Well, again, when I saw Fred was going nuts, I had birdied 13, 14, 15, and 16, so that obviously jumped me right up into contention. And I never -- I never really saw Loren at top of the leaderboard. I saw Fred, so I was more worried about him, even though I knew Loren had more golf to play. And obviously when I looked up on 18 and I missed a 30-foot birdie putt, I saw where Fred must have bogeyed 17. So we were both 16 while Loren was 17. And before I went anywhere, I said, "Where is Loren?" He was on 16 with a birdie putt and he made it. So now you cannot worry about all those. 17 is a tough shot. That was in my mind. I have to keep making birdies. The bogey on 17 was a dead point.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thank you, Fred.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297