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May 9, 2008

Fred Couples


Q. You did something with dropping a ball on 9. What happened there?
FRED COUPLES: Oh, I hit it in the water and took a penalty shot, so I made a 6 on 9.

Q. Sorry about that.
FRED COUPLES: That's all right.

Q. Did you ever think you'd be age 48 still in contention for this tournament?
FRED COUPLES: You know, probably not. But I feel like I'm playing well this year, and I do like the course. So if it blows like this for two more rounds, no one knows what they're going to shoot. I mean, 72 feels like a 68 and 80 feels like 100. It just kind of beats you up.
Every shot you hit is tough. There aren't any easy ones, and when you do hit a good shot, it's really hard to make a putt on these greens. They're so fast, and it's blowing so hard that it's hard to get comfortable.

Q. What do you think of the course in May versus in March?
FRED COUPLES: Well, it's my first two rounds ever. But in March we get a lot of bad weather; it can be cold and windy and wet. And when we get good weather, the course plays hard. This tournament now in May, it's going to be hard, I think, every year. I don't see how it can be easy when -- I wasn't here last year but I heard it blew, and May is a time where it's going to blow. Tomorrow it's going to be brutal, and Sunday it'll be borderline U.S. Open-like.

Q. Ridiculous, in other words?
FRED COUPLES: I don't know about ridiculous, because you can play the course, but you're not used to U.S. Open-type conditions on this course, and you're going to get it now.

Q. Do you think it should be set up that way? I mean, not that it's a bad setup now, but it's not a place where you can do bump-and-run and things like that, so you're really left with throwing it into the wind most of the time?
FRED COUPLES: Well, that's the tough thing. I don't know if that's a problem, but that's a tough thing. I don't know what you can do. 17 is just a hit-and-miss. I was first up.
You know, the hole before I had a wedge on a par-5 from about 160 downwind, and I stood up there and the flag was kind of looking like it was blowing where it wasn't into the wind, and I debated on hitting a 9-iron and I went with wedge and I smoked it, and it wasn't even close. The next two guys, kind of knowing that, not that they had an easy shot, but they hit two 9-irons right in the middle of the green and made par. So if you're up first, it's pretty difficult. It's a judgment game.
But the rest of the holes, as you said, you have to hit really quality shots to keep them on the greens. Part of the problem is the downwind holes are extremely hard. They're playing short. And then the into-the-wind holes, it's just hard to pull a club out. You're always thinking you're going long and you don't, and you come up short and you just can't get it there.

Q. You said one time the secret to playing in the wind was hitting it solidly every time.
FRED COUPLES: That's what I've done the last two days, so I will say that the reason I'm 2-under par is I haven't flamed too many shots. A lot of it comes from knowing the course, knowing where the greens are and how far you want to hit it.
But some of the younger guys who are here for the first two times, I'm sure it's just brutal. It's just hard. You're playing a hole, you're 165 yards, you hit a wedge and you carry it a little too far and it goes down a little embankment and you've got no chip. Then you play another hole, where it's side wind, it rolls across the green. You have to get up-and-down and figure you're going to make a few birdies. If you don't make any birdies you're going to really struggle out there. If you make some bogeys, you're going to make bogeys.

Q. How do you feel about the Bermuda greens versus the overseed?
FRED COUPLES: The greens are absolutely perfect. The greens are the best greens we'll putt on maybe all year.

Q. How are you physically?
FRED COUPLES: I feel pretty good. I mean, I'm done for the day. I'll go back and lay down and get ready for a late tee time tomorrow. But I feel good.

Q. You were talking earlier about how well you were playing at 48. Can you talk a little bit about Bernhard at --
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, Kenny Perry, there's a lot of guys. I think Bernhard, that's phenomenal golf. He's a great player. I don't think with really great players it's an age thing. He's playing a lot, which helps. He's winning on the Senior Tour, which also helps.
You can be 48 years old and never play well and surprise people. But it's not really a surprise I don't think. I don't think he's shocked. Is he 5- or 6-under? That's amazing golf, but I don't think it's shocking.

Q. Do you think that has something to do with experience which may be important around this golf course?
FRED COUPLES: I think he's played it enough, but I think he also is winning. I don't know how many times he's won this year, but that's a nice feeling, to go play the last few holes and beat people and win a trophy and come out and play with us and get off to a good start, which he has. I wouldn't be surprised -- and if it stays like this, for him to do well on the weekend.

End of FastScripts

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