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THE SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY ROLEX


July 28, 2012


Fred Couples


TURNBERRY, SCOTLAND

THE MODERATOR:¬† Fred, thanks for joining us, 72‑68‑64, four‑shot improvement each day.¬† You must be delighted with the way it's going.
FRED COUPLES:  I don't mind going out at 4:00 tomorrow.  It was a very, very good day.  Yesterday I think gave me a little confidence, and then coming out and playing today, I certainly didn't think I would shoot 64, but once I got going, I didn't miss many shots, and I did drive it in the fairway bunker on No.12 and had to punch out.  But other than that, I played the course pretty well, and it was a great day, a lot of fun.
THE MODERATOR:  How tough are the conditions out there today?
FRED COUPLES:  Well, I think yesterday was brutal.  The golf course, someone told me it rained this morning even before the guys went out and then there were a couple little showers.  So if you were playing it out of the rough, you could bounce it in there and really judge your bounce.  Yesterday when I finished, I felt like the scores were going to go up in the afternoon, which I think anyone out here figured they would, and that was a little bit of a break.
So then coming out today, I just felt like if it was windy like yesterday and cold, I played a good round, and I could take that out there today.  And again, and just try and hit the ball solid, and I did hit it very solid, and when I did hit an iron close, I made the putt.

Q.  You've achieved pretty much everything in golf except a win in Scotland.  What would that mean to you if you could do that tomorrow?
FRED COUPLES:¬† Well, I mean, I've achieved a few things, but my goal way back when was to always win here.¬† It's easily been my second favourite tournament, whether I would have won at Augusta or not.¬† I just feel like the British Open was always a treat to play and always very demanding and took a lot of thought to play the course.¬† And I had a few pretty good chances, maybe two or three, and I did play with a few guys that won, with Norman and Justin Leonard when he won.¬† And when Ian Baker‑Finch went crazy out there, that was probably my best chance of winning.
But to win tomorrow‑‑ you know, the main goal is really playing Turnberry, and then whoever wins gets a British Senior trophy to go along with it.¬† But I think we're all playing on tough conditions.¬† They may have moved a few tees up, but I think it's just as hard as any Turnberry can be.
So to me personally, when I sit here, I just had a great round on what I consider to be one of the top courses in the world.  So tomorrow someone is going to win, someone is going to win a British Open, and I would love to be able to beat this course for four days.

Q.  How tough is it to play in a group with someone and watch him to go on to win The Open?  What are your memories of watching Norman and how did it make you feel that you'd come close?
FRED COUPLES:¬† Yeah, well, if you remember, Greg played extremely well.¬† Justin Leonard made about seven 30‑foot putts.¬† It was just an unbelievable day.¬† And to be honest with you, I don't know who he beat, maybe Wayne Grady had the lead at the time, and Norman?¬† I don't really know.¬† But he went crazy.¬† He's a friend.¬† I've played a lot of practice rounds with him.¬† I have never had a quarrel or qualm with anybody. ¬†If you're from South Africa or Australia or United States, I don't care who I really play with.¬† It's obviously more fun to play with guys that you like or play like you, maybe Greg Norman, Davis Love I've been paired a lot over here, obviously Montgomerie.¬† But it's not very hard.¬† You know, when you're out there battling and you're playing your own game‑‑ I mean, sometimes if you were Greg Norman where Larry Mize chipped in at Augusta against you in a major or Bob Tway holed a bunker shot, you don't dislike Bob Tway, you must‑‑ it's never happened to me, but you must feel a little bit slighted to have some of those things happen.¬† But I don't think it leads to not caring who you're playing with.
I mean, so many things happen.  Poor Adam Scott led that thing for four straight days almost, and it becomes hard.  So tomorrow coming down the stretch these last back nine, it's an unbelievable back nine, so you're going to have to hit the ball well.  It's easy to do on a Saturday, but when you've got to do it and keep playing holes or make a few birdies, we'll see how I'm playing tomorrow.  I hope I can attest to the challenge, and if it's hard, maybe we'll all struggle a little bit trying to win this.

Q.¬† It's not uncomfortable to watch‑‑
FRED COUPLES:  Not me, no.  I guess it took me a while to answer it, no.  If I am playing tomorrow with Peter Fowler or Bernhard Langer and they beat me, I'd show them respect and go to the next tournament and certainly won't say, that damned Peter Fowler, he did this and he did that.  It's not really like that with me.  I have a lot of respect for the guys who are playing, and I like to watch people play.  So today I watched Mark McNulty hit every shot.  He didn't play his best, but still, you learn a little bit.
And tomorrow, I mean, I don't know if Langer is the guy I'm going to play against.  He's got to stay where he's at or make another birdie.  But that would be a great pairing.

Q.  Can you quantify in some way how a senior major measures up in your own mind as an achievement against the majors on the regular Tour?
FRED COUPLES:¬† Great question.¬† Great question.¬† The hardest thing that I see‑‑ this is my second‑‑ well, it's my first British Open but really my third year doing this.
If we were to play on courses like this, then it would be easier for me, or I think all of us, to feel the achievement of winning a British Senior Open.¬† So if you look at the leaderboard, it looks to me like it's Bernhard Langer, who's a great player; Ian Woosnam is up there, who may not play his best all the time but he's a quality player; Peter Senior plays well every week; John Cook.¬† These are‑‑ John Cook almost should have won a British Open, so these are guys that know how to play.
But you have a good point.¬† When we played a couple weeks ago at Indianwood in Detroit, I can't base anything‑‑ I'm not knocking the U.S. Senior Open, but I can't feel anything because I've never seen a shot there.¬† It's fun for me to play Turnberry and say, wow, I remember the duel in the sun, I remember Tom Watson hitting it over the green, I remember when Jesper Parnevik had a shot at winning, I remember Nick Price.¬† Those are all things that make it more fun for me personally.
So my first Senior Open‑‑ United States Open, I skipped the tournament here because it was in Seattle, but it was at Sahalee, which held a PGA Championship and a World Championship.¬† That in itself, even though it was in Seattle, at least there were a few things going on.
But it sounds like if it's not a major at Olympic Club or Pebble Beach or Oakmont, that's not a great tournament, but I'm just trying to say that maybe someday we'll play Olympic Club and we can compare to what Webb Simpson or Ernie Els were doing coming down the stretch.  I think that's a great test.
Next year at Royal Birkdale will be phenomenal.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks a lot, Fred.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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