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April 4, 2009

Fred Couples


Q. All in all, a very good day.
FRED COUPLES: Yeah. You know, I can't -- I did hit a tree right off the tee. I hit an 8-iron, sand wedge and putted. The rest of the holes were pretty smooth. I hit the ball very, very nice, and the wind is blowing, and it's hard out there, but I got it around.

Q. You played well in L.A., a place you've always played well. Playing well here. Do we understate or overstate the importance of comfort level?
FRED COUPLES: Well, first of all, I play well once in a while, and when I pick the right courses, I make it seem like they're ones I know pretty well. In the last -- the first time I played here, when I won one on, I played very well and loved the course. Then this week I'm working on my game with Paul and getting better. It's one of those things. Went to school here. So if I shoot 80, they're screaming for me. If I shoot 7-under, they're yelling. It's a good fit.

Q. Talking, of course, about Paul Marchand, who has worked with you for a bit. What have you guys been working on?
FRED COUPLES: I worked with Butch about six years. I just missed the cut at Bay Hill. I told Paul, "I want to get away from everyone. Can I come to your club?" He told me a couple things -- I've had pretty much the same teachers every year -- just to shorten my swing up and get some more speed through the ball, and I started to hit it fairly straight. So that's a good a compliment especially when you're playing in the wind solid. I'm not overpowering any golf course yet.

Q. For a player about to join The Champions Tour, your game seems in pretty good shape.
FRED COUPLES: Maybe I shouldn't say anything about The Champions Tour. Long way to go before I play -- I played very well the last two rounds. This afternoon the wind is blowing, and it's still tough out there. So far I've played two good rounds.

Q. How difficult is it to get the speed of the greens down with these changing conditions, wind, rain, earlier in the week, and the speed has obviously changed?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I played two rounds in three days, and every day I've had like an 8:30 tee time. There's a blessing in that the greens are soft. This afternoon they'll be different. I have yet to play a typical afternoon round. They'll be quicker, much firmer, and with the wind, they'll become faster. So you have to adjust.
It's not really that difficult. When you get some putts in the wrong spot, it's got nothing to do with not learning how fast the greens are. It's just why you put your shot 50 feet from the hole with a big downhiller.

Q. Been almost 30 years since you went to school here, yet you still attract large galleries out here. They very much feel like you're one of them.
FRED COUPLES: It's where I began to play as much golf with Coach Williams, and, you know, I think they all know everyone. I still root for U of H. I don't think there's a big difference whether it's 20 or 50, depending on your score. Your school. You always root for your alma mater. I have a lot of people out there, and hopefully I'll play well.
I came into today after being 4-under, I knew the guys were going to have a couple very good rounds, see a lot of guys ahead of me. If I went out and hit it solid I could keep ground. I had it 8-under for awhile and bogeyed the last. Good spot to be in.

Q. One of those courses you feel really comfortable at?
FRED COUPLES: I feel comfortable. There's a lot of hard holes, and so far on the hard holes -- I bogeyed 18, which is one of the hardest holes out here. You have to get by a few holes. You can make doubles and triples on three, four holes. I played those well. That also is the key to why I'm 7-under.

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