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September 13, 1996

Fred Couples

Davis Love III


WES SEELEY: We have Fred Couples and Davis Love III, two-time victories today over Greg Norman and Robert Allenby. Some thoughts about the length and breadth of your day?

DAVIS LOVE III: The length was pretty long, and we spread it outside, it was pretty long, too. It was a great day really for us. We played some really good golf and some mediocre golf and, every once in a while, some really bad ones. But we had a typical day for us where we hung in there, we made some birdies. We made some mistakes, but didn't let them get us down. I think for an all-day affair, which we've never done -- well, maybe here the first day last time, the time we played back-to-back -- no, we didn't do it then. We've never played back-to-back matches. For an all-day thing together, I think it was a real good day. We both can get a little disgusted with ourselves and I don't think we really did it today. And we hung in there and we had to playing Greg and Robert, who were playing very well.

Q. After the rain delay, the comeback where you didn't get to hit any balls or anything, there were some really funny looking shots after that. What was that like?

FRED COUPLES: I went over to the van and actually put my feet up and I came out and I felt pretty good. Davis was first up, hit a decent shot and they made a 20-footer for par, I would say. And we ended up making bogey and the next hole I didn't even get it off the ground. I guess it hit the tent or rope and went out-of-bounds. It was really being wet, cool and not prepared. My back felt actually fine. I'm real tired. But it was pretty ugly. And I just think it was such a quick turnaround to all of a sudden say, go, and we didn't go, none of us. Robert seemed to do fine all day. But they were two good matches, as Davis said, I don't think we were 2 UP ever until we won the first match and today there were a lot of holes won and lost because of real good play and a little sporadic play.

Q. Could each of you comment briefly just on the odds and what it's like to be paired with those guys?

DAVIS LOVE III: The odds are good. If that's the way they want it to fall, because if he lays out, which he did, he laid out Norman and Robert and Arnold just through us right on top of them. And I don't know what happened in the afternoon, but I think the odds are pretty good. If we tell Arnold we want to play them, he's got a pretty good shot at working it out. We're not trying to avoid it. Tomorrow we're picking our time we would like to play. We'd like to play a little later in the morning, just so we can have time to get loosened up. But I think that's who we wanted to play. And we were very fortunate to beat them twice.

Q. Just talk about how demoralizing it must be for them to go out with Allenby missing that putt and for them to be in the same situation as last time, down by five points after opening day.

FRED COUPLES: Well, that's a good point. I think on 18, going up, they're all square. When you're behind -- it was hard, we didn't really know how -- we weren't trying to figure points out, but we knew basically after Greg hit his putt we could win the match by Davis making it or by him missing it. And again, if the points are even, I think it makes us putt a little easier. It's still the last match and you miss it, you lose another full point; you find yourself further behind. And so I think there was a lot of pressure. I wouldn't have wanted it, but, you know, he played very well today. He's a good player and we were very lucky to be paired against him, which we wanted to be. I believe if they would have gone out -- it's not like Davis and I are the best team for our team, but they had said that they felt they were invincible, and Davis and I asked to play them and we went out first and I think maybe if they had won in the morning, they may have won another match or two, which it could have flip-flopped the other way. As it turns out, you can look back, it probably didn't really matter. But DAVIS Duval and O'Meara, everybody seemed to play well. And it was nice to see Kenny Perry and Justin Leonard go out. It's huge to win a match; especially your first one.

Q. Davis, do you think they're demoralized now?

DAVIS LOVE III: I think they would have felt better if I wouldn't have made my putt. When you're that far behind I'm sure it's not a very good feeling. They've got a great team; if they get the ball rolling their way, like the last day of the Ryder Cup last year, it looked pretty good for us, but they got the ball rolling their way. If you get some matches going your way, you can do about anything. We're certainly -- we know it's far, far from over. When you look at it, there's not that many points today compared to the rest of the way through. There's a long way to go.

Q. Well, the two of you are now 4 and 0 at the Presidents Cup when you're paired together. Is there something about playing with each other that makes for an especially successful partnership?

FRED COUPLES: We play all the time in a lot of these things. And as you just hit it off, you don't really want to do it in the last hole, but if I put Davis in trouble or hit a 25-foot birdie putt five feet by, you learn to feel the other guy out. It's really not a big deal. And we know we can play very well at times and we know we're going to hit some mediocre shots. So it's really, work it out, just like every other team except we play all the time. I think Greg and Robert, probably, this is the first two times they've played. Greg doesn't get mad at him; he doesn't get mad at Greg, but you are kind of a little edgy when you do something you might not have done. Like I don't usually hit putts way, way by. Davis is very aggressive. If anything, he may be a little more tentative on the greens to cruise it up there and giving a tap-in. But we just team very well, just because of the fact the games are alike and we do well individually, when we're walking around. We don't usually get down, disgusted. Things go pretty easy.

DAVIS LOVE III: We learned each other's games pretty good in 16, 6-hour rounds at the World Cup. We learned patience with each other and with our games. And you laugh, but it's the truth, that tournament has done a lot for our confidence. Unfortunately, like at the Dunhill Cup, you don't get to play together, but in the rest of them where we can pair up, we've done it a bunch. And as I was telling somebody down on the 18th green, I knew that Norman and Allenby had never played any matches together and they certainly never played alternate shot. And they were going to be a little more uncomfortable with Fred and I, and we haven't played alternate shot, but we played so many rounds together, I've seen every miss and every good shot he can hit and vice-versa. He puts me up there in the trees at 16 -- or 15, it's just a payback for me hooking him down there in the trees on 12. It doesn't bother me. It bothers him a lot more than it bothers me. And we have fun. We know we're going to hang in there. I know he's going to come on strong at the end no matter what. I'm walking 200 yards ahead just with my putter, waiting to putt my birdie putt. It's a lot of confidence in each other.

Q. If you two had won two points from any other team, would it be as big as winning these two points?

DAVIS LOVE III: For Fred and I, I mean it's - tell me if I'm wrong - but I think for us two points is a big two points, no matter what. For some of our guys on our team, to see Norman not win a point might be a boost, to some of the guys on their team after the way they were talking, maybe it's not good for them. But two points -- and I have always said this, every Ryder Cup team and Presidents Cup team I've been on, there's a lot of points come Sunday. You've got to play hard all the way, but you've got to realize that a two-point lead or four-point lead is really nothing, and you have to -- unfortunately, it back fired on us at the Ryder Cup last year, but we can't be sitting still. We've got to be focusing on tomorrow. Greg Norman is going to come out and play good golf tomorrow just like he always does. He's at his best when he's behind, you all know that. You've got to watch out for him tomorrow. Maybe they'll mix it up; get a fresh start - I don't know. But Fred and I are excited about today, but we're looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. Fred, you mentioned the word "invincible." Obviously you were aware of Thomson's comments. Did those spur you on a little bit more?

FRED COUPLES: No. And the reason being is I think Greg or Robert would never have said it. I don't think they told Peter to go in there and let them know that we're invincible. And just like today, you know, everyone is asking about Greg, Greg, Greg. It was fun to see when Davis and I are out there to see Kenny Perry and Justin Leonard three or four up. Believe it or not, you expect some guys to do well. But you don't know what's going to happen; especially in alternate shot with something like that. It gives you a boost, but it really does. As far as what they feel about Greg, I can't imagine having Greg Norman on the team and not saying anything about I expect him to win. And Davis and I know that we're very good players, and we expect to win. But we are not going to sit here and say tomorrow no one's going to beat us. Neither would Greg or any player on the other team. But it wasn't a ridiculous comment, it was just kind of that's what he felt and I think we did very well to beat him twice.

Q. Fred, would you talk a little bit about your performance in the first match? It seemed like there was a time in the middle of it where you missed some fairways but you were able to get yourself back.

FRED COUPLES: I'm searching a little bit. And I seem to get off to a pretty good start and then I slow down as I relax a little bit. But anyway, not to sit here and talk too much, I'm not exactly playing great, great golf, but I have teamed up with a very, very good player who's playing, I think, very well and it brings my game up a little bit, because I have struggled. In the alternate shot, I put it in some weird spots. I just cannot get the ball started where I'm looking. And it's a difficult thing. It's fun to watch him sit there and pound it down the fairways and hopefully I'll hit some good irons, which I did today, which is a little better. But I need to start driving.

Q. But at the end of that first match, it seemed like you turned it on.

FRED COUPLES: I think I'm good enough to hit a few good shots, I'm just not good enough right now to hit 18 in a row. But again, if I get a little bit -- a little bit nervous, like starting out the round and finishing it, I seem to do all right. It's when I'm a little bit loose and lazy -- we get 1 up we don't know what to do, it comes even real quick. But there were a lot of loose shots. And again, I'm good enough to play a few good holes in a row. The last five or six holes in the morning Davis and I were on most of the fairways and most of the greens. I think that's why we're not pulling the match out.

Q. Fred, could you discuss the key putt you made in each of the matches this morning and this afternoon?

FRED COUPLES: The one on the par 5, this afternoon, was a good putt. And the one on 15 in the morning Davis -- I got a little bit of a read, it was a little longer putt and I sent it out there and it went right in the hole. You want to be up. And when you're even, it's crucial to win a hole 1 up, obviously, and that's what we did. And of course on 17, I was close and Greg ended up missing a par-putt. But both those putts were basically free runs and you just try and get them on-line and hit them. I think this afternoon we both putted not quite so well, just because the green is real spikey. And I knew I didn't want to hit Davis four feet by. And I think the same for him. And we were close. I think we lagged every hole pretty well.

WES SEELEY: Which par 5?

FRED COUPLES: This afternoon on 14 I made about a 20-footer.

Q. Do you guys know the President was out there?

FRED COUPLES: We saw him going down 15. It was a little look-see.

DAVIS LOVE III: We were waving at him.

Q. It doesn't set your heart fluttering?

DAVIS LOVE III: It's pretty exciting.

FRED COUPLES: You don't get to see him every day.

DAVIS LOVE III: It's pretty exciting to see him on the golf course. We don't know him like we know President Bush, who -- Freddie and I both have spent some time with. So it's neat to see him. It's neat -- I like to see all the vehicles and the people; all the guys dressed in black suits. It's pretty cool. (Laughter) But I don't know how many events he gets to, but it makes an event very special when you see him standing up on the hill watching. And he made his birdie putt with him watching. I have to admit I thought about it, that's pretty cool. He makes a putt with the President watching. I didn't tell you he was up there.

End of FastScripts....

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