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April 6, 2012

Fred Couples


Q.テつ Talk about the day.
FRED COUPLES:テつ It's an amazing‑‑ it was a great day today, and I worked my way up the leaderboard.テつ There are a lot of other guys at 3‑ and 4‑under.テつ Well, I guess Jason Dufner is at 5‑under, too.テつ So more opportunities.テつ Phil is out there battling; Rory, I just saw him.テつ Sergio played a great round.
So for me it's nice to be in the mix.テつ This course brings out great players.テつ I consider myself to be a little past where I feel really comfortable with leading a major at the time.テつ I'm sure maybe somebody will get to 6‑under out there.テつ But I look forward to tomorrow, and we'll see what happens.

Q.テつ Do you surprise yourself sometimes when you come here?
FRED COUPLES:テつ Well, that's a great question.テつ I mean, I think I surprise a few people, but myself, I mean, if I get going and I feel strong and drive it, the course is much longer than it was in '92 when I won, but I still feel like I can compete here and play, and that was my main goal when I came here.テつ People ask, can you win, and I want to compete.テつ If I would have shot 71 today and was 1‑under, I'd feel like I would be competing.テつ By the time I'm finished at 5‑under, right now tied for the lead, I'm doing more than that.テつ But there's 10 more hours of golf out there at the pace we're playing, exactly 10 more hours of golf, so I've got a lot more to look forward to.テつ But it's something that will be a lot of fun.

Q.テつ Sometimes you say you go out and shoot low numbers and it just kind of happens.テつ Was it one of those or did you grind it out?
FRED COUPLES:テつ No, it was a grind.テつ I watched‑‑ while I was doing that, I watched Phil birdie the 18th hole, and obviously 4‑under par was a great round.テつ He's totally in the thick of things now.テつ But even for myself, I consider today to be a really, really tough day to play this course.テつ I made a couple par putts and pumped my fist.テつ I birdied 16 and got very excited about it.テつ But really, I parred 17 and 18, which was a big boost.テつ Those are holes that are hard.テつ 18, guys are hitting woods in there.テつ I got up‑and‑down from the front of the green from not a tough spot, but I was very happy to make a par save there.

Q.テつ When things are going this well, do you feel like you're turning the clock back?テつ Does it feel that way?
FRED COUPLES:テつ No, I don't come here‑‑ I'm sure it's going to happen here shortly, but I have yet to come here (knocks on wood) and really worry about my age, because I still feel like I hit the ball long enough for me.テつ I'm not going to hit it as far as Rory McIlroy or Phil Mickelson, but for me to play this course, I still feel like I hit it long enough where I know where I'm hitting the ball from.
I mean, next year if I come and I lose 20 yards, I'm going to have a 5‑iron to the first hole instead of a 7‑iron, and that is very tough for anyone to figure out and to really‑‑ I guess for me it's not much enjoyment to lose 20 yards.テつ So right now I'm still hitting the ball plenty long, and as you know, I putted very well, so those are two things that will help you on any tournament, but more or less you have to do those at Augusta.テつ You've got to keep the ball in play and you've got to make a lot of putts.

Q.テつ How does it feel playing against kids that are 20 years younger?
FRED COUPLES:テつ Well, today I played with Ryo, who I have a lot of respect for his age, and Darren Clarke, and it was a really good group.テつ They didn't play particularly well.テつ They didn't play bad.テつ But Darren I've known a long time, and he was rooting me on, and it was very comfortable.
Well, coming in tomorrow‑‑ that's a different deal.テつ I've never played with Rory.テつ I might‑‑ if it stayed like this, I guess I'll play with Jason, who I've watched play a lot, like the way he plays.テつ I don't know him at all.テつ I don't even know if I've ever said hi to him, but I like the way he plays, and it'll be a fun day.テつ But I'm here to compete tomorrow with the course.テつ If I'm playing with Rory, that would be truly amazing.テつ Or Sergio I've played a lot with, but he's getting close to 30 years old and becoming a mainstay in these majors.
But it's just really a round of golf.テつ But as a golfer, I pay attention.テつ I like the way some of these young guys play, and it makes the day that much more fun to be paired with them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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