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February 20, 2011

Fred Couples


Q. What went wrong?
FRED COUPLES: You know, I hit a poor shot on 6 and then drove it in that stuff on 7. We were lucky to find it. Then when I hit it out of there, I just didn't feel the same after that. I didn't really hurt myself, but I never hit a shot, and I just got it around. I mean, I couldn't hit an iron. I hit a few good drives, but I was like afraid to hit the ground, hitting it that hard out of that stuff. But again, I did get off to a good start, and that was where it ended.

Q. Were you worried about that when you saw your ball and knew it was in there?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I knew it wouldn't feel very good, but nothing bad happened, I just didn't feel at all. I started snap-hooking them and didn't hit it very far. I hit a drive on 18 and it didn't go anywhere, then I snap-hooked it on 9. I started getting outdriven by 20, 30 yards, and I did hit a couple good ones, but it just was rough.
It's nothing bad, I'm not having any excuse. It's just after that point I never hit a shot.

Q. As disappointed as you are today, just sort of sum up the whole week.
FRED COUPLES: Well, I'm disappointed but Aaron played very, very well. It was cold and it wasn't easy. There were a few good scores, but I didn't think it was very easy out there. I certainly wanted to par the last hole. That's disappointing. But as far as the way I played, I played great. Today was -- like I say, if I could have just hit a couple more shots and finished even in third place, that would have been phenomenal, but it wasn't, and I'm pretty happy with the way I played. But I was trying to win.

Q. At this point in your career do you cut yourself some slack maybe whereas 10, 15, 20 years ago you'd be more disappointed?
FRED COUPLES: You know, I'm a golfer so I'm disappointed. But like I said yesterday, I'm disappointed that I didn't play any better. I mean, the shot -- I saw five balls in a row, the group behind us on the 6th hole everyone was five feet from the hole. All you had to do was hit it and it was going to roll down there somewhere, and I missed it up there to the right and actually hit a pretty good chip.
You know, that started the comedy of errors, and then hitting it down there in that stuff on the right on No. 7, you just can't play out of there, and I hit it so hard out of there, I didn't know where it was going to go, and then it went -- I hit it further than I thought into that other bunker, which was not very good, so I was struggling to make a 5 on a hole that's a 3-wood and a 9-iron.

Q. So it doesn't make any difference that the guy who won is 20 years younger than you?
FRED COUPLES: No, I'm happy for him. I don't care how old he is.

Q. In terms of competing?
FRED COUPLES: No, he didn't care I was 51, I didn't care he was 21 or whatever he is, no. It's just kind of irrelevant.

Q. Not hitting shots after the shot out of the rough at 7, is that related to the shot out of the heavy rough do you think?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I swung so hard at it, and I just kind of jerked through it, but again, I was -- up until that point, I felt pretty good about the way I was playing, and then I didn't hit a very good drive on the next hole; I snap-hooked it on 9. The drive I hit on 10 went straight, but it didn't go anywhere. On No. 11 I didn't hit it very far. No. 12 I hit a wood to the green. I shanked an iron in the middle of the green on 14. I shanked it in the bunker on 16. I mean, those are not very good shots.
All I was really trying to do was get finished and hang in there, and I'm disappointed because I bogeyed 16 and 18. But if I could have parred them, I would be in the same mood.

Q. You said you were afraid to hit the ground. Back a little tender? How would you describe it?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I didn't swing -- I just didn't feel my swing after that. I don't have an answer for you. It's not -- I mean, I never hit a shot for 12 holes, a really good shot off the ground. I hit a few balls in the air off the tee, but you know, I just didn't do it very well. I mean, I drove it in that crap. I could have taken an unplayable and gone way back there and still would have made a 6 and probably would have felt better, but I thought I could get it out of there, and I did. But that's some gnarly stuff.

Q. Are you happy with the way your back held up this week given where you were feeling --
FRED COUPLES: No, it feels terrible. But I feel like if I was playing another course this week, another tournament, there's no way I would have played this well. This is just my favorite course. Literally if you watched me today I slapped it around and shot 73, and I'm highly disappointed. There were a lot of 73s out there today, but this is a great course for me. If I would have played Bay Hill, I probably wouldn't have made the cut and shot a couple 74s.

Q. What do you do between now and Augusta?
FRED COUPLES: Now and Augusta? Newport Beach and maybe Houston. Does that seem right? That's a lot of weeks, isn't it?

Q. Didn't you win the Champions event the week before Augusta last year?
FRED COUPLES: They don't have that one, you're right, so I can't get in trouble for that. That's not around anymore.

End of FastScripts

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