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March 31, 1996
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA
Q. Freddy, what is your feeling now about 630 grand?
FRED COUPLES: Today it really never crossed my mind. It was
kind of a battling day. It was -- I was playing very, very well.
Now, I have been thinking about it a while. It is a lot of money.
It's a lot more than probably I deserve, but if you win it and
that is what you get, I will accept it.
WES SEELEY: You are exempt until 2006.
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, that is scary. I wasn't really planning on
applying 'til I was 46, but at least now I will be exempt if I
am. I don't really know exactly what to say. I felt great today.
I was so far behind. Kind of like, pardon the pun, The Bob Hope
Classic, I was in great shape and there are 20 guys that can win.
You know, you go out there and you play well and you shoot a
69, you go home in the 15th spot. You know, Rick had said are
you hungry to win? Sure. I mean, hungry to some people is banging
balls on a Saturday after you are in contention for two hours
or showing it differently, but I like to go play well and make
my game kind of talk a little bit. And today I hit a lot of great
shots. It was fun, you know, I missed some too. I got a lot of
breaks. But basically, I hate saying it, but it was a pretty
easy 64. And I just -- as I look back, I don't know why, I don't
know why I shot it. Every time I stepped up to a driver, I hit
a pretty good one. When I didn't, I had an open shot. And when
we got all 15 or 16-under, the 16th hole was huge, and I thought
Colin Montgomerie was ahead me. When he got to 16-under, I thought
he had birdied 16. And my caddie told me he birdied the 14.
So I am standing there with this 2-iron and basically trying to
hit it close. It was a perfect club. I cut the ball and I actually
overcut it, and it was hanging, and I thought it was in the water
for sure. And it hung on the edge and kicked down onto the fringe,
and not a very hard putt, and it went in. So at that time, that
put me in the lead. It was a huge break. Not a bad shot; just
turned out lucky. And then 17, you know, I played a semi safe
shot and made a very nice putt. I looked up, I was 18-under and
they're 15, which made the 18th hole putt a lot easier.
Q. You said 16 was an easy putt?
FRED COUPLES: It was right on the -- I mean, 25 feet, but it
was dead flat.
Q. No break?
FRED COUPLES: Very limited, if anything. It kind of went left,
and then went to the right. But it was -- you know, there was
the big ridge to the left. Everything is -- I was in the right
front. It was just as flat as could be.
Q. Is there a sense of relief to win a big tournament; to
play so well the last day?
FRED COUPLES: Sure. I mean, I don't know -- you know, the relief
is I was out there doing my best and it worked out perfectly for
me. Tommy Tolles, I think, played outstanding golf. You know,
Colin Montgomerie is a top player in the world, so winning --
the relief really was going out there and hitting good shots and
making the putts, and I had a few three and four, five-footers
for pars. You know, it is a relief to continue to make them.
I miss my share, but today I made most of those. And when I hit
a good shot, I made a birdie, and I think that -- when I was done,
I just climbed my way up the leaderboard and got the lead and
-- you know, and I finished off strong. So I have done it before.
I have also not done it before. So any time you win a tournament,
you know, that night, it is -- it is a nice feeling. What you
try and do, and maybe in the past screwing up a tournament, I
try to figure out in my own way how I could not do that. For
a while there I succeeded. I practiced. And then I have not been
able to practice the last couple of years very much. So to win
here is really -- you know, it is a nice turning point.
Q. You thought Montgomerie was playing ahead of you and
not behind you?
FRED COUPLES: Yes. Which at that time, when I was walking down
the 16, I hit my second shot. We got to the ball. You could
see across the water through the 16th green. There was a board
there and he was 16-under, and I think Tommy Tolles was also.
And I knew where Tommy was, but I told Joe "Colin must have
birdied 16." He said "no, he birdied 14, he is on the
14th hole." So I knew we were both 10-under, but I thought
he was ahead of me today.
Q. Any particular reaction to being the first person to
win this tournament twice since it moved to Jacksonville?
FRED COUPLES: No.
Q. Is it that tough to win twice?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I think it hasn't been a whole lot of years,
you know. Is it that tough? I think it is a tough tournament.
It's got a terrific field. Over the years, you know, most of
the so-called good players were the ones that go on to be good.
I mean, when I won -- when I won, I was certainly not a great
player, but I think it has helped me go on to be a good player.
A 10-year exemption certainly can save one. Tommy Tolles, if
he could have won to have ten years -- he is a good player. I
don't think we were too much different. I mean, he is coming
on now. I had won the tournament the year before, but I think
ten years is what really kind of helped me out when I was 24 years
old. Now to be the first guy to win two times here, I mean, it
gives me another trophy and a bunch of crystal, and the money,
but I am at a point where, you know, everyone says it, you try
and win and it is much better winning this. And even if I had
won it three other times, to win after the last couple of years...
Q. Talk about the shot at -- second shot at 18. And did
you know where you stood?
FRED COUPLES: I did. You know, I didn't know, again, if Colin
had gotten his up-and-down.
Q. You knew he was behind you now? (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.)
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, I watched him. I hit a second shot in the
water. You know, when I got to my ball and saw it was a pretty
good lie, I knew that I was not going to not overcut it and hit
it in the water. It was basically "how far right was I going
to miss it?" Tommy Tolles -- again, I -- when you watch,
he had the same shot. I thought I was a couple of shots ahead
on the tee. It is still an uncomfortable tee shot for me because
I don't really draw the ball, and I just hit it straight, pushed
it out to the right. But, you know, not the end of the world.
When I got there, I just took another club. I hit a 2-iron from
I think 212 to the hole, and I just played a big banana shot and
actually hit it right where I was trying to hit it, which was
on the right side of the green. It hit and stayed in that little
swell, and lagged it up there very close and made par.
Q. You never thought about laying up?
FRED COUPLES: I really didn't because one shot that I have no
problem hitting is a fade or a slice, and I really think if I
went out there and hit ten more, four, five would be on the green
and four, five would be further right. It just was not that difficult
of a shot. You know, I have had enough of them. But to fade
it -- at that time it might have seemed harder, but when you are
standing there and, you know, you don't want to go left because
you drop it way back and all that. I thought chipping the ball
down the fairway was not quite the smartest shot. I just felt
like it was a pretty easy shot.
Q. Talk about the putt at 17.
FRED COUPLES: The putt at 17, you know, it was just -- I was
trying to roll it down there. It was extremely fast. A lot of
things go through your mind when you are surveying it. You look.
I didn't like the way it looked coming back into the grain, and
I have a tendency to hit up on putts. And when you are into the
grain, they will bounce a little bit. So I felt like I could
trickle it down there maybe a couple of feet, short at worst,
but I was not going to have it go four, five by. And it went
in just trickling, so it was perfect.
Q. How long was it?
FRED COUPLES: It was probably 25, 30 feet.
Q. Do you feel like you have turned the corner with your
putter in the last four, five, six months?
FRED COUPLES: I put a new grip on it, a real thin, thin grip.
It felt better. I did that Tuesday. For me, I did a lot of things.
I had a new 3-wood and new sand wedge; a new 2, 3 and 4-iron,
and new grip on my putter. And I played with the same clubs for
five straight years or longer. So you look back, I mean, that
is, again, something I felt like might help me to use a thinner
grip on the putter. You know, the last six months I felt like
in 1991, '92 and '93 I was a great putter, with a lot, you know,
missed putts. But it all depends when you are missing putts and
you feel like you are stroking them well, that is totally different
than when you hit a putt like I did on 11. I mean, that, you
really want to tap it in and crawl into the cup and not let anyone
see it. It is just a bad feeling. You know, I mean, a putt that
does not go in doesn't necessarily mean you choked. But when
you miss a putt that badly, it is nerves and all those things,
and I just tried to totally flip-flop whatever was going through
my mind walking down the 12th fairway. Am I a better putter now?
I don't think so. I just think some days I really feel comfortable
and other days, you know, honestly I don't. And it is unfortunate
that -- you know, I win tournaments, obviously, because I putt
well and I lose them because I don't. I mean, that is the way
my game is. I am a much better ball-striker now. I wish I could
putt like I was when I was 24, but that is not going to happen.
Q. How loud was the crowd out there when you --
FRED COUPLES: They were pretty loud. It was great. The 18th
was certainly fun to walk up and accept the applause. Again,
I have not -- you know, Ryder Cup was a thrill last year to play
on and it was very loud, but last year, I don't think I had too
many chances. This year at Riviera, which is, as you know, my
favorite spot, it was pretty noisy, but basically today was a
long time waiting today and I feel good because of the way I played.
Q. Fred, any parallels to be drawn from the shot at 16 today
that you said was somewhat lucky that stayed dry and the shot
at The Masters --
FRED COUPLES: I think the shot at The Masters was real, real,
real, real, real lucky. The one today ....(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.)
It carried just far enough. I mean, it was on line. You know,
it hit close to the water, but I mean, the pin was over there.
I just overcut it and you know, the one at Augusta I thought
was there -- is not that much time to think, it was in the water
and the one I hit today, I thought was in the water. Neither
of them went in.
Q. Do you care about things, about world rankings? I mean,
all of a sudden four, five other players people talk and your
name hasn't been included in that little group. Do you care about
things like that?
FRED COUPLES: No, I don't. I would love to play like this.
I think if I continue to play like this, I will work my way back
into winning tournaments, but I am not one, you know, for jealousy
-- I am jealous in a few areas, but golf is not one of them. (AUDIENCE
LAUGHTER.) It is not a big deal to me if a young kid was to win
today and beat me and win 630,000 his first tournament; nor is
it a big deal if Greg Norman would have won. I think I am a good
golfer. I think I am great at times. If I am 50th on the Sony
Rankings, that just means I have really slipped. If I am, you
know, in the top 10 or 12 after the last couple of years, I don't
think that is too bad. But I don't sit and look at it every other
week to see where I stand. Where I stand is that I know that
if I don't play a lot and practice, I really physically can't
beat Nick Price and Greg Norman and Montgomerie all the time or
ever. I keep bringing it up in '92 and 3 and 1, those were the
best playing years that I have ever have and probably will ever
have, but I am playing much better this year and I really thought
-- than I really thought, and I am moving my way back up on the
money list. That is more important to me than the Sony Rankings,
really. I would love to be one of the top players on our TOUR
because that is kind of really what I strive for.
Q. Are you afraid that your back is going to prevent you
from being a great player?
FRED COUPLES: You know, to answer that quickly, yes, the first
time I heard it was kind of not that big a deal. Then when it
went bad last year, I really had thoughts of maybe this isn't
quite, you know, what I had in mind and I really feel good now.
This gentleman, Tom Boers, actually came in Wednesday -- or, excuse
me, Tuesday. I felt horrible, played a practice round. He flew
in from Georgia Tuesday night, and, you know, it really helped.
I felt great Wednesday and you know, he has helped out an awful
lot. Fortunately, if he hadn't have come in, you know, I would
have probably gone to see him, so he had saved me a day of playing
and time and everything, so I owe a great deal to him; especially
the last six or eight months.
Q. Do you still see him every three weeks?
FRED COUPLES: You know, this time he came in to see me and I
will see him Tuesday night or Wednesday in Atlanta.
Q. Does it make you feel better playing Augusta? Does this
put you back into the spotlight and make it tougher for you to
prepare? What does it do for you?
FRED COUPLES: I think it certainly helps. I am pretty edgy.
I feel like I am playing good, but when I tee off, I am -- I
am not quite in full control and I think this is going to help.
I am playing Atlanta. I'd love to get in there and bear down
and do well there and get to Augusta and have Thursday come real
fast. I mean, to be honest, I am going to regret Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, because they are long days and it is practicing; not
anything else going on. It is just when you are ready to go,
you want to go and I think you can really make these Majors a
long week. You still need to practice and prepare, but I look
forward to teeing off Thursday and when I say that it is because
now I feel like you know, I can do it. Whereas, before, again,
bringing it up, when I teed off, I knew I was going to shoot 69
or 70. Now, I kind of earn it. I don't know what I am going
to shoot when I start and it doesn't mean I am going to shoot
75, but I am not as comfortable teeing off. So when you go from
the practice range to the first tee, and you feel like you are
going to be 3-under par at the end of the day, that is a good
Q. Paul flew in. Did you guys work on something in particular,
FRED COUPLES: Well, basically, my teacher was you know, in Orlando
doing a golf show and I asked him to come down Thursday morning
just in case he saw something that he could tell me today versus
seeing it Monday at Augusta. I have not seen him in a while.
He really didn't say much. He told me to do one thing with my
putting which I went against him because it felt comfortable but
basically, swing-wise, he just talked and it is kind of subtle.
He just says you are swinging good; have a good time and he watched
15 holes and then he left and went home, so I can't wait to give
him a call. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.)
Q. Where does today rank in your all-time great rounds?
FRED COUPLES: I would say this tournament ranks, you know, right
there as the best tournament I have had. It was perfect timing.
Q. Why did you make all these equipment changes this week
and how do you feel about teeing up Thursday?
FRED COUPLES: The putter felt like the grip I had was way too
big. The 3-wood I have been driving the ball so well that I needed
to get rid of that 3-wood that I had. It was basically a mini-driver
and I used to use it a lot driving, so now I put in another 3-wood
and I actually hit four or five par fives this week with it in
two and I hit great shots. So it was a good switch. As you know,
the long irons, I am with Lynx and the Black Cats, I felt like
I wasn't hitting them as well as I was when I brought them out
six or seven months ago and so I went back to my old 2, 3 and
4-iron and I hit them pretty well. My sand wedge took over -
the grooves wore out, so I put in a new sand wedge.
Q. At what point did you know you had this thing, was it
on 17 green and you saw Colin walking along --
FRED COUPLES: No, actually when I got to 18, and Tommy didn't
birdie 16, because he if he birdies there, you can birdie 17 and
18 - it is a rare feat, but, you know, I still had my work cut
out parring 18. When I parred 18, then I knew it was over.
Q. You said this was the best tournament you have ever had.
Better than The Masters?
FRED COUPLES: At this time, yeah.
Q. Fairly or unfairly, you probably have drawn as much or
more attention for money and success won away from the PGA TOUR
as on it. Is there any ego gratification for kind of reestablishing
yourself in these kind of events?
FRED COUPLES: I don't think I am a rebel kind, but -- (AUDIENCE
LAUGHTER.) -- but I made this comment the other day, that when
you go into -- no one practices or plays when they get to these
tournaments. The Skins game, and Shark Shoot-Out and Kapalua,
no one practices; that is right up my alley. I know it is being
funny, but I look at it as they are all in the same boat I am
and it is to my advantage. Now, why do I play in them? I like
to play in them. Do I much rather win the TPC or the Phoenix
Open or L.A.? No question. I would, you know, I think I have
enough money to get me by, God willing, that something happens
and I don't play in the off-season to really try and make 200,000
or 800,000. But it just happens that way and I think it is because
it is the end of the year and, pardon the pun, no one really cares
and I don't either. I just go and beat them. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.)
It is an even feeling and I mean, I think that way and out here,
I just made the comment "this is the best one I have ever
had" because I really think I am back and I think I am, you
know, slowly proving myself; if I feel good, I can beat everybody.
Q. Do you think you are proving that to a lot of people
in tournaments -- do you think this will help prove --
FRED COUPLES: I don't really care what people write or say.
I do what I want to do because I enjoy doing it. You know, I
mean, you guys write and you do your deal. Some of it is upsetting,
but some of it is no big deal. For me, you know, when I play
the PGA TOUR, I play 20 events. If I play terrible in those,
you know, the off-season doesn't mean anything. I wouldn't be
in any of these tournaments so I must play pretty well, but it
doesn't matter. This is no -- doesn't make me feel better to
win this because people think I played and make a lot of money
in November. I think if that is what you are asking, it doesn't
you know -- doesn't matter.
Q. Does this validate also your schedule going to Dubai
and all that? Does that make all that seem --
FRED COUPLES: I think Dubai helped me win this tournament. (OPENING
EYES REAL WIDE WHEN ANSWERING). (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.)
Q. What did the doctor do for you?
FRED COUPLES: He just rotates me a little bit. It is real subtle.
I mean, if you watched it, you'd say "are you done"
and that is.
Q. How long does it take?
FRED COUPLES: 20 minutes.
Q. Is he an orthopedist?
FRED COUPLES: Physical therapist, the spine. This is fun. I
can stay here all day, but I mean Dubai and all this, I mean,
rest assure, I really play the PGA TOUR to play the PGA TOUR.
Five years from now I may never be picked to play in the Shark
Shoot-Out or the Skins Game or Dubai and if I get the chance,
I don't see why I shouldn't. I mean, I don't know if anyone here
agrees but I think to answer that, I feel lucky that I get a chance
to go play that a lot of people would love to go pay -- love to
go play and I enjoy it. I wouldn't go if I didn't like it.
Q. You said you are slowly proving that if you are feeling
healthy you can be a lot -- isn't that why you are slowly proving
that to yourself more than anybody else?
FRED COUPLES: I think I am proving it to myself that I can walk
around and play 18 holes and feel good. I mean, when I play bad,
I don't look and say, "geez, my back let me down."
I mean, it is not like that. Whereas, last year, I played a lot
and my back was really horrible. I mean, there were a lot of shots
I hit everywhere. I played this week, you know, you didn't hit
really too many bad, bad shots and I think a lot of that has to
do with standing over the ball and feeling comfortable and swinging
and letting your body go the way it normally does and a lot of
times my back has a tendency to stiffen then not let me do that.
WES SEELEY: Can we go birdies.
FRED COUPLES: Sure, third hole I hit a 7-iron, 20 feet, made
it. Fifth hole, hit 6-iron, three feet, made it. 7th, hit a
wedge, 25 feet.
WES SEELEY: 6.
FRED COUPLES: 6, excuse me. 8, I hit a 4-iron to, two, two and
a half feet, made it. 12, I hit a sand wedge, about six feet,
made it. Then 16, 25-footer for eagle. 2-iron to the green.
17 I hit a 9-iron.
Q. Where were you aiming at 17?
FRED COUPLES: On 17, left of the green. No left to the green;
not even looking at the pin, just trying to cut it in there.
FRED COUPLES: You know, yeah, big old fade and I started at the
middle of the green and it kind of cut over there to the right
edge of the water.
FRED COUPLES: Yeah.
Q. I am sorry, I thought you said 17.
FRED COUPLES: I am sorry 16. 17, I was aiming pretty much where
it went. There is a small little ridge and I flew it a little
too far and it was an uncomfortable shot at first. It was a weird
yardage. They put the tee way to the left which they had never
done. It was like 137 yards or something to the pin and that,
you know, when you are a little jumpy, a 9-iron which Scott Gump
did after me, hit it over and I kind of chipped it perfectly and
it flew in the back part of the green and stopped up at the tier.
But, I mean, it was, you know, I felt I just felt good over the
shot and I hit it where I was looking which was safe.
Q. You scrambled quite a bit on number 2. Can you go through
FRED COUPLES: I did. I was going to say, earlier, number 2,
I hit 2 great shots in the first hole and missed a fairly makeable
birdie put. Second hole I drove it in the right trees, up by
a root. I was trying to go over the palmetto bush and under some
other trees and maneuver it up the fairway. I thinned it right
into the palmetto bush. It trickled into the rough. From there
I had 220. I cut a 3-iron in front of the green and in the left
rough, not too bad, and chipped it to about six feet, and a huge
putt. To make bogey there is -- that would not have been good.
Q. What was the first time either today or this week, first
time you had an inclining that you might win this week?
FRED COUPLES: Probably on the back 9, you know, early in the
back 9 I think, you know, I was still a couple behind Tommy and
Colin was playing a good round. Obviously, when I was going up
16 I was a shot behind and I knew I needed to birdie 16 and when
I made that, I really got a rush, but I would say the back 9,
I knew I was in the thick of things and maybe someone else would
come up, but I felt like the three of us would -- someone would
get to 17-under. I was really trying to get to 17-under.
Q. Fred, on Thursday with the two rain delays you said the
second delay wasn't comfortable for you and if you had to come
back out and play it would have been bad. "Bad", playing
the way you wanted to play, or "bad" just to be able
to stay in the tournament?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I think it would have been difficult. It
would have been bad for me scorewise. The first time it was very
quick and then you know, a lot of walking. We had to go all the
way back to 9, all that. I just felt like one more and then going
out for basically three-and-a-half, four more holes. I felt like
it would have been a tough situation.
Q. Last winter when you were playing well and winning the
money in the off-season events, you seemed to think when you would
talk about -- when you talked about your play there you would
talk about "I am able to win these kind of events, but I
don't think I am at a level where I can sustain it in a 72 hole
tournament." What has changed since then? Is it all just
the health or is it confidence or --
FRED COUPLES: You know, I always have confidence in my game.
I have said that a lot. There are other times where it seems
easy. And the more I can play and the better I can play, the
more I'd like to play. When I am playing poorly, I have the tendency
not, you know, to skip tournaments and I am playing Atlanta next
week, basically because I felt like I was playing some good golf
and I wanted to be ready for Augusta, so it is a perfect timing
here. To answer your question about, you know, the off-season,
you know, we won the World Cup with Davis, I mean, he lapped the
field with this Sasaki fellow. They went to a playoff. I was
on his team and we won that. But I did play well. I didn't really
think I could come into the PGA TOUR this year and really win
a tournament. Maybe Riviera because it is my favorite tournament,
and I came very close. I think I am back to playing well. But,
yeah, I mean health is a huge deal. I still don't practice --
I tried to last week for a couple of hours one day and woke up
the next day feeling terrible. And I basically took it easy and
then I played a little golf Friday and Saturday and when I came
in here I felt like I had played a little bit of golf. I just
played the week before in Dubai, so I felt like rounds for me
are better than practicing. Taking a week off and practicing is
not going to do me a lot of good. If I could play in a tournament
and play four rounds, I think that is how I am going to get my
game back. So I am trying to play a little more this year, but
schedule it to where it is -- I am not going to have like three
weeks off at home where I totally forget how to play.
Q. It seems like last, you know, being a great player, there
is one problem with it for you: You didn't like the attention.
Are you ready to be back and do this again?
FRED COUPLES: Well, if I go win The Masters or win Atlanta, then
you know, I will come hunt you guys down. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.)
I mean, there is a lot of other guys out there, you know -- there
were two guys David Duval and Tommy Tolles, I think it would be
rough on those guys. I don't think it is that difficult anymore.
I mean, it was a rush job for me, and I am a little bit different
than that. I like to do my own deal and you know, if they want
you for 20 minutes in the media I usually say "have a good
time." The last couple of years, I haven't done this at
all. So it is kind of fun. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.)
Q. In the ceremony on the green you said - I don't know
if you meant this, maybe you just kind of got caught in a word
trap. You said you'd rather win this tournament than any other.
FRED COUPLES: What I meant to say this was the best win I have
ever had, kind of like that and it came out that, I mean, The
Masters is the biggest one I have ever had. I would say that
before that, this tournament, but this is the biggest win I think
I have had. I think the Masters, I was one of the top players
at the time and I don't think I am too far now, but to win here
really shows me that I cannot still play, I can win.
Q. So are you saying this is the biggest win of your career?
FRED COUPLES: I am saying that, yeah. Out there I said this
was the best tournament. The tournament I'd like to win more
than any or something like that. But this is the biggest. I'd
rather win The Masters than the TPC. And I think out there I
said "this is a tournament I'd rather win more than any;"
is that right?
Q. But here you are saying -- (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.)
Q. -- is the biggest win because of the timing of it, like
FRED COUPLES: Yes, yes.
Q. The other guys both mentioned that when you made the
eagle at 16. It was impossible not to know what you had done
because of the crowd noise. Maybe they were even a little rattled
by it. I wondered if that conversely gives you a big boost just
from that swell of noise and everything?
FRED COUPLES: I think it gives the player a boost. I think if
it had gone the opposite, you know, it rattles you for a split
second. You know, flip-flopping it, I mean, as we are finding
out, Colin was behind me to make -- on his second shot. (AUDIENCE
LAUGHTER.) He tried to do a little bit more. I mean, I would
do the same thing. You don't want to hit it in the water, but
you don't want to blast it way to the left. I didn't see his
shot. I don't know if it was close or way in the water, but it
can make you maybe do something else differently. If you look
back on it, I mean, for instance, if you would have hit it on
the green and 2-putted and I had bogeyed 18, then we could have
tied, instead I eagle it. Maybe make him try and do a little
bit more. He hits it in the water, he makes bogey, I mean, basically
if I play the 18th hole well, I have won. And that is the way
it came out. So, I mean, you are right in a sense, it makes you
change a little bit. I have done it a zillion times; you try
to be a little bit more aggressive because now you are behind,
but in reality, he could probably hit the green eight out of ten
times, 2-putt for birdie, now he is tied. So, you know, a lot
goes through your mind, you are ahead the whole day and now you
Q. After the miss at 11, were you really ticked off, and
did that kind of motivate you for the rest of the way?
FRED COUPLES: Yeah. I mean, it, basically -- you know, it is
embarrassing. At that time it was too good of a round you, know.
I mean, a three-footer or four-footer, but this was like straight
in from two feet. And I am not saying I have never missed any,
but at that time it is one that you don't really want to walk
away with. And the putt at the next hole was very big. I made
about a five-footer for par on 13 and about a four-footer for
par on 14. So all of those at that time kept me going.
Q. There is a picture on the wall out here when you last
won here, I guess you were 24 or something, you had the 5th Beatle
look. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.) I was wondering how your approach has
changed since then. Do you remember back then how your approach
FRED COUPLES: I think that just happened. That picture is up
there because it was -- maybe, like, Tommy would have won, it
just kind of happens. It didn't come in here. I didn't expect
the last round that year to beat all those guys. But anything
can happen. You know, now the picture is going to be a lot older
and, you know, shorter hair, but I think that is great. I think
golf, you know, it is a game where it can come at a long period
of time when you are 20 to 40, there is not many sports you can
do that and I think one thing that I have done is I have played
good golf since I have come out on TOUR and that has been for
16 years now. I think that -- has really helped me personally.
It makes things a little easier, but when I look back at that
I kind of laughed. We were at the Players dinner and Tawnya,
they showed us -- it is red cheeks; looked like I was 10; not
24. Now I look like I am 70. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.) But I think
I am a much better player. I don't even think there is even a
Q. Better wardrobe?
FRED COUPLES: Much better. I didn't get to choose my clothing
back then. They just kind of got it. Now I, at least, get a
Q. You didn't choose that polyester?
FRED COUPLES: Did I choose it, yes.
Q. What makes you jealous, Fred?
FRED COUPLES: Tawnya can probably let you know.
Q. Why does Tawnya say that you proposed "the Fred
Couples way?" (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.)
FRED COUPLES: Is that what she said? Probably that I gave her
a ring, but it didn't mean anything. To most people, when they
give rings, it means you are probably getting engaged and getting
married. Some day we will probably get married. Not real close,
not real far. (WAIVING HAND BACK AND FORTH).
Q. Didn't you just drop it in her hand and really not say
FRED COUPLES: Is that what she is saying?
Q. That is what I heard.
FRED COUPLES: No, no. It was -- you know, it was a real quick
"here you go." (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER.) "Close your
eyes." Probably a very poor way in taste, but if she is
mad, I don't think -- I don't think she'd still be here. (AUDIENCE
WES SEELEY: Anything else folks?
FRED COUPLES: All right. Thanks.
End of FastScripts.....