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July 31, 2010

Fred Couples


FRED COUPLES: Okay, I'm going to change it up a little bit. I've said the same thing twice now.

Q. 65?
FRED COUPLES: You know, it was a great, great day. You know, it was a great, great day. Playing with Tom was great and today was no exception. Today I played better and he struggled the last nine holes to make some bogeys and it was fun to play with him and to play like that.
I got off to a good start, birdied the second, made an 8-footer. And the 4th hole we had short putts and I missed -- I was six feet and he was eight feet. And I birdied the next. And the next hole I was hacking it up the right rough and I got it up into a bunker and I made a shot for par which was huge. Instead of blasting it out four or five feet and missing it for double I made it for par which "as they say" kept the round going and kept me feeling comfortable about my game because that's really the only bad tee ball that I hit today and that was the key to the game.
I got it in play and from then on I birdied 9, after I holed on the bunker on 6. I hit it to a foot for birdie on 7. And then 20-footer for birdie on 9. And I guess I parred all the way around to 16. I hit a wedge up to about 12 feet and made it.

Q. Third shot, you wanted -- perhaps you wanted to miss the bunker but the fact that you got in was that the saving thing?
FRED COUPLES: It actually was one of my better shots today because I actually hit it exactly where I was trying to go, so -- but I thought if I ripped it hard enough I could roll it through the bunker and maybe on to the back of the green and if it stayed in the bunker I would have an up-slope.

Q. (No microphone.)
FRED COUPLES: Yes, that's true. But that's where I was trying to go in that bunker, and the chances is if it came out low again it would have stayed short again on the green in the rough but I made the shot.

Q. How much of the momentum of the day was just seeing the ball going a little more where you wanted to and how much of it is the crowd?
FRED COUPLES: Well, the crowd -- you watched me play the first day, it was terrible, mediocre is what I said, I got it around, though. Yesterday was a little better. I don't feel great but I don't feel bad. It's just one of those things where, you know, I'll get some rest but the people certainly -- the first day it was great because I thought if I can hang in here and shoot a 72 or 3 it's not that bad. Then I made three birdies in a row and I shot 70 and they keep screaming and yelling and it's hard to get down because most of the ones screaming are your family so you kinda hear their voices. And I've been hearing them my whole life and that was good. Today I didn't hear many family because it was loud and so much fun. And tomorrow I'm playing with Bernhard in the last group so that will be a treat.

Q. How long was the bunker shot, 40 feet?
FRED COUPLES: Maybe less, 30, 35 feet.

Q. Tomorrow only two guys under par and the next ones look like at even, can anybody beyond even come back?
FRED COUPLES: For sure. You know, I was -- if I can shoot 65 any of these guys can shoot it. If someone comes out and shoots 3- or 4-under that will put 'em at 1- or 2-under if they're over par.
I've gotten away with some things and I've, believe it or not, putted pretty well. So I'm lookin' to go out tomorrow and if it becomes a two-horse race at the back nine it wouldn't be surprising to see us maybe play better because it's only he and I.
If not, we're going to have to play really, really well because Tommy Armour III, Michael Allen, all those guys are 3-under par. Even though they will only be a few groups ahead of us, it's going to be tough to keep shootin' these scores. I'm sure Bernhard is playing well also.

Q. Looks like Bernhard when you made the birdie on 16 and Bernhard got this great big smile on his face as he was going down 15 so it's fun to get these same guys that you've been battling for 30 years, right?
FRED COUPLES: Well, yeah, and that's what I said from the first tournament I played in, people say, oh, is it fun because it's three rounds no cut? No, it's fun because I play with with Bernhard in the British Open. I've played with him at Augusta and at Greensboro and in Germany, so you kind of rehash stuff you've done a long time ago. Sounds sad but it's true. And even though I'm new on the Champions Tour, I played with these guys. I've played with Tom Watson since I was 21 or 22 years old. And we went to his house one week and we don't talk about it but we're very good friends. And to play with him on a course like this you learn a lot about how to hit the ball. Today was not a great day for him.
Bernhard was probably smiling because most of my shots have been louder than everyone else's today, but he's shot well today and I'm not saying if there is a U.S. Open today we would be leading but we would be very good right now and that makes me feel good because this course is brutal, it's not very easy at all. The reason no one is under par or very few is because it's that hard.
The pins have been great, the rough is pretty good, and the greens are like concrete even though we've had mist and fog, thank God, because if it were sunny and bright every day I don't think anybody would be under par.

Q. When you were 3-over on Thursday morning was there ever a thought that coming to Seattle wasn't going to be such a good idea?
FRED COUPLES: What I thought about was, what's the cut in this thing? Am I going to be able to hang in there and make the cut? And then I birded three holes in a row and all that went out the door.
But, no, I -- you know, golf-wise I used to have a tournament here in Seattle and players would come up and we would play and have a good time but this is a big deal and this is a big event and I'm going to go out tomorrow and see how I play and give it one more day!

Q. Fred, you and Bernhard, just from thinking back, I think y'all never dueled for a title anywhere, did you?
FRED COUPLES: No, no, maybe we played on a couple of Saturdays but never on a Sunday.

Q. Is there a reason you're not wearing sneaker-style shoes?
FRED COUPLES: You know, I'm not wearing them because it's been -- I hate to say this, because it makes them sound like they're not good, but it's been foggy and wet and they're not -- the truth of it is I'm not swinging good enough to play in those shoes when it's not perfectly dry. So if it's perfectly dry tomorrow I will probably wear them because I'm -- my swing is good but I'm not on that kind of balance to be wearing those shoes.

Q. Where would this rank among your victories if you could win tomorrow?
FRED COUPLES: Where would it rank? I would say as far as excitement, probably No. 1, but as far as, you know, feel to it would be behind Augusta. If I don't win, it will be disappointing but it's going to be a great week either way. I just want to go out and play well and, you know, see what happens. It's all you can do. I mean, I'm in a great position to win in my hometown, that's probably not going to happen again, so I don't think that's going to make me more nervous than trying to win the U.S. Senior Open than I think it is but I'll let you know on the first tee tomorrow.

Q. You remember when you first heard this event was going to be here this year?
FRED COUPLES: I don't remember exactly when, but I know people were, you know, pretty excited and I was, too, and guys like Jay, so like I said, 30 years on Tour I've played in my hometown twice, those aren't good odds. Thanks, guys.

End of FastScripts

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