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August 1, 2010

Fred Couples


FRED COUPLES: What hole should we start on, the 2nd? You know, it was a lot of fun. Going down the third hole I was asking my caddie if I've ever laid up on a par-5. And I did on the 2nd hole and walked away with an 8. It had nothing to do with the play I made. I'm kind of shocked that -- where he drove the ball he was going to have a mid-iron in there. And I was in the first cut of rough, and I didn't know if I could control that so I chose to layup.
And I laid up a perfect 69 yards or maybe a little too close. But the ground was hard and I just totally chunked it. And then it became a comedy of errors, and I went back 10 yards and thought I had 90 yards, and my mind wasn't quite right. And then I hit that over the green and then made an 8.
And then I played pretty well from there. But, you know, I think that put me -- I don't even know, 4 back, immediately. It was just one of those things.
If I could walk out there tomorrow, I would go for the green, no matter where I hit it. I think I would beat 8, that's for sure.

Q. (Inaudible.)
FRED COUPLES: You know, I took the club out and I have that new club, which I've actually hit pretty well. And I had never hit it in a spot like that.
So on the first hole I hit it, and I was pumped up and I hit it further than I've been hitting my 3-wood. I thought if it's a cut shot, if I don't cut it, I'm going to rip it over the green, and as it turned out where the pin was it might not have been that bad.
When I say "over the green," I mean ten yards over the green in the people. I had 200 to the front, and so I thought, you know what, I birdied 1, I can lay it up there, and I can wedge it in there and I should have had a ten- or 15-footer for birdie at the worst, and I just chunked it.

Q. (Inaudible.)
FRED COUPLES: To be honest with you, I don't even know. I took my 2-iron out and put that in. But I had not hit any as far as I did on No. 1. I kind of drew that. I hit it off 10 every day perfect. You know, another one I had on No. 11, I hit a great drive off the tee, and I used that same club in there.
It's so narrow in there, and I just pulled it and I didn't make a birdie there either. So that kind of -- it didn't help much. But I birdied a couple late to make it semi-interesting. He played well.
He made par-putt on 8 and 9. He birdied the hardest hole, No. 6. And from then on with a three- or four-shot lead he just kept hitting it where he was supposed to. They were all quality shots and he played great.

Q. If I could have been in a situation in reverse where you were playing against somebody where 99 percent of the gallery is on his side --
FRED COUPLES: Well, in the Ryder Cup, like our guys will go over there and play in the Ryder Cup. But in a regular tournament? No, I mean, normally I do okay on the crowd side. I usually have more than 50 percent on my side. And this was probably 99 percent. And it was fun. They were great. They were loud. I birdied the third hole, so at least I got them back into it.
He never made a mistake. So there was -- there were a couple of comments, but as he said, that's going to happen. Guys are rooting hard for me; they didn't say anything wrong. Someone picked out the color shirt he wore and they didn't think that was a very good color. But other than that, no one said anything wrong. Seattle has great fans. I joked, I thought I sent them home on the 2nd hole but they stayed.

Q. (Inaudible.)
FRED COUPLES: Well, you know, he made a great up and down there. I just was looking for a spot to pick up a stroke somewhere and I thought maybe there. And then he hit it in the bunker on 9 and hit an unbelievable bunker shot and made a nice five or 6-footer there, too.
But you're not going to -- you're not really going to turn momentum around. If that had rolled up further like eight feet, and I would have made it. But at that time where I was in that trap I was hoping to get it up on the green somehow. I thought maybe he'd make bogey, but he was just very solid. I don't think I picked up a shot until the little dog leg left, maybe No. 13.
So I never had the tee. He was up first all day. He hit it down the middle of every fairway. As I told him, he played eight great rounds to play the British Seniors and this without really a poor round of golf, which is tough to do. You take away the 8 I made, I actually played a really, really good round of golf, because I drove it good.
I didn't hit many unbelievable irons, but I didn't see many people hitting irons four or five feet from the hole, either. I felt comfortable making pars.

Q. Did this week exceed your expectations, the atmosphere?
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, I did from Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday were great, but Thursday, to have that many people out on a Thursday and playing with Watson and Eduardo Romero, we were commenting on how many people were out there. It was off to a good start. Yeah, it was a great week. I'm hoping the USGA or PGA Senior maybe the next six or eight years finds Sahalee or somewhere else in the Northwest to come back and play. I don't know if that will ever happen. But it was a lot of fun to be here, I can tell you that much. It was great. The fans were great.
I'm kind of an emotional guy. I'm not really an emotional player, I don't get out there and go crazy. But I can hear them, and it was fun. When I birdied the first hole, that was what I thought I needed to get going. And then about 12 minutes later I was looking for a hole to crawl in.

Q. Were you spooked at all on 2 by what you did the other day where you hit it way long?
FRED COUPLES: Well, the shot to go left of the green with the mound in the middle was no good. Actually there was a tree there so I would have had to have hit a cut, which I can do pretty well. The only spook I thing was the lie in that little muffled -- it's not the rough, it's the first cut. And I don't know how far, how fast it was going to come out of there. If it came soft, knowing me I was going to try to cut it over there. I said, I just made birdie, don't do something stupid here. I thought about it and I chose to layup.
I wish I would have laid up 80 yards away instead of 69 or whatever it was, but it was a pretty easy shot.

Q. How excited are you to come up here in three weeks?
FRED COUPLES: Well, yeah, that's my next goal is to come up and try to win the Boeing Championship. If the same amount of people come out it will be a great time. I've never played the course, all the times I've come up. I'll get a couple -- there's two pro-ams; I'll get a couple of practice rounds. But I am definitely looking forward to coming up and playing again.

Q. Knowing so much of the gallery was behind you and being from here, could you have scripted it any better, other than the win, to be in the final group?
FRED COUPLES: Yeah, that's a great question, because really a lot of people might have been saying, I won by being from here and playing in the tournament. And then it got better and better every day. And even, you know, it took me a few holes to get over that second hole, but then once we got going I started to feel like I'm playing well and I'm hitting it well. It was fun. It was fun to listen to everyone.
It was fun to see a handful of people. I didn't talk to many people. It's just hard to do that and then not keep talking to them. I don't know if they broke any records here but there were a lot of people here this week.

Q. Is it going to take you a while to digest what this was all about?
FRED COUPLES: I'm over the golf already, to be honest with you. I've had a lot of nice things happen, but, you know, it took me a while to get over the 2nd hole while I was playing, but now it's gone.
The whole week, I'll think about it and come back in three weeks, so that helps, too. It was really amazing. I came out Tuesday and there were 12 or 15,000 people out. Wednesday was the same. And then the tournament was full of people. So I think, like I said, it's the second time I've ever played at home. The first time was great but this was even better.
Also getting paired with Tom Watson. I've said that 20 times, but he's my guy. I love the guy to death and to play the first three rounds with him was a great week for me to be here and playing and then to have him playing with me.

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