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May 8, 2008

Fred Couples


Q. Did you three-putt 17?
FRED COUPLES: I shot 2-under today. What do you want to talk about, the three-putt right out of the box?

Q. I couldn't figure out how you got there.
FRED COUPLES: I three-putted 17.

Q. You made a great play on 18.

Q. Not only from where you hit your second shot but your third shot.
FRED COUPLES: And even the short putt I made (laughter).

Q. Was it there today for you and the golf course?
FRED COUPLES: The golf course is -- it was playable. I mean, there were some good scores out there, and the wind blew maybe the last eight or nine holes, which will make any course harder, this one especially. But I hit the ball solid and I got it around, and I made a couple mistakes but I made a couple great plays and had enough birdies to shoot under par, which I think you need to make birdies out here.
It's going to be where you're going to get a ball downwind, some where you can't stop it, you're going to go over the green and make bogey, and you're going to have to turn around and birdie a hole that you hit a great shot and make a putt. The greens are absolutely perfect so guys will make putts.

Q. What did you hit on your second shot on 18?
FRED COUPLES: 2-iron, sliced it. I figured I could slice it. If I over-sliced it, it probably wouldn't be great. But if I was 7-over I would have taken one second to hit it, but being 2-under I took a little time and tried to figure it out.

Q. Was the shot on 16 any more or less difficult than that?
FRED COUPLES: No, 16 was okay because if I pulled it left, there's a lot of green, so it wasn't too dicey. I didn't turn it over too much and hit a very good shot there, whereas 18, I knew I had to slice it, and going way right in that rough would be no easy pitch. I could have got it somewhere down near the green.
But 16 was more of a shot where I could maybe be a little more aggressive and not over-hook it.

Q. Are you just as comfortable with this course at this time of year and the way they've got it set up now as before?
FRED COUPLES: No, actually the greens are very fast. They're perfect, but I'm not -- it's not a different course, but around the greens it's different. It's different muff, where it's that fine, whatever it is, Florida Bermudagrass I guess it is.
I think I hit every green but 15 and 18. I took care of that. And I putted okay.
Like I said, I'm not used to the speed of the greens. They're extremely fast and putts are different, so I'll come out tomorrow and putt a little more than I did this morning and just try to get a feel for it.

Q. From your experience does this golf course change over the four days of the championship?
FRED COUPLES: Well, it will. It will change, especially if the wind keeps blowing. It'll dry out. I don't think we're going to get rain. They say maybe tomorrow night or something. But if it does not rain and keeps blowing, I think it'll be brutal Saturday and Sunday.
Joe caddied for someone here last year and said the first day it blew 30 miles an hour and the scores were ridiculous. That's what we don't want. If we're going to move this to May, we don't want a championship where three of the four days you're trying to play this course in 20 to 30 mile-an-hour winds. It's not built for that.
Other than that, it's going to firm up and play hard. There aren't even ball marks out there. You just kind of bend over to make it look like you're doing something (laughter).

Q. You're playing a lot of golf lately.
FRED COUPLES: I don't feel as good as I did earlier in the year, but I feel better than I have in a long time. It's about all coming to an end, though. Another Memorial and then I'll be in the pits.

Q. Is that the history of it pretty much?
FRED COUPLES: History of?

Q. Your problem.
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, I mean, I've been seeing that guy and he's been making it where I'm not so fidgety and I'm getting back to that spot. But I'm still swinging okay without too much pain or structure where I don't feel good, whereas three months ago, two months ago, I could I do a lot of -- it sounds funny, get a haircut, go to the dentist, where I could just sit. Now I can't sit still very long. But that's okay; as long as I don't feel horrible, I can play.

Q. Before last week were you even confident you'd be here?
FRED COUPLES: I wasn't on Monday, but then when I heard a couple guys withdrew, I guess Trevor Immelman -- did he pull out today?

Q. Yeah.
FRED COUPLES: So even another guy got in. So no, I wasn't that confident. But if everyone tells you you're going to get in, you're going to get in. But when you're that guy sitting out, you don't want to hear that.

Q. Course aside, just being here where you've had a lot of success and the atmosphere, did it feel good?
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, it's a great tournament, a lot of people. Not as many as I thought, but they'll be out tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday. But it's -- you know, it's the number one tournament we have all year I think for most guys, and the majors would be the only ones above it. So it's a great course, great clubhouse.

Q. Hard to believe this is your 25th?
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, yeah. I've got one more in me maybe. Then I'm done.

Q. Everything considered, you're really playing well this year. Is it just the putter is going and the back is okay?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I think the back is okay, and I didn't play much last year at all but maybe -- well, I played the two tournaments so I feel fresh. But I think I'm fairly consistent. You know, I haven't had -- I may have one tomorrow, but I haven't had any bad rounds, so I'm able to not really worry about it.
When I came out from a year off, I came out and played pretty well, and I missed the cut at Phoenix I think the second or third week. But that was the best I hit the ball. And I ended up playing good at San Diego, which was nice to get a good tournament early in the year.
I think I feel pretty confident. I'm not playing tremendous golf, but if you do a few things, you can inch your way up there. In Houston I had a good last day to finish good, and last week to finish in the Top 10 I played four good rounds.

Q. Yeah. It's good stuff happening for you.

Q. Is that a surprise at all, considering you're one player removed from not being here?
FRED COUPLES: Well, surprised I got in this week. One player removed, I can promise you I wouldn't be sitting there for three days waiting at first alternate; that much I can tell you. Not to be mean, I just don't have that in me because the only thing I don't have is if I sat here for three days and didn't get in, I think I'd be miserable for a month. But I know, is it Dustin, he sat here, which was great. But it's his first year. I'm on my 25th, so there's another one or two after it.

Q. Are you the only guy still carrying a 2-iron?
FRED COUPLES: I don't know, I do have one, though.

End of FastScripts

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