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May 30, 2013

Fred Couples


FRED COUPLES:  It's fun for me to get paired with Tiger and Keegan.  And I was a little hesitant really what I was going to shoot, but it was very well to shoot what I shot.  And to be honest with you, I didn't hit any horrific shots, maybe the one at 11.
I got to play with Tiger on last year on the first.  Fires days first few days.  He went on to win.
I love Memorial.  Jack and the staff gave me a spot to come back.  Hopefully I can play like this tomorrow.

Q.¬† How hard is it to separate yourself, captain‑‑
FRED COUPLES:  I'm about ready to put a suit on here.  I've got to take a quick shower.  Instead of coming here to practice, they got it cleared to go to the White House.  And anytime you can go to President Obama's, it's pretty special.  Instead of flying here, I stayed and I went into Dulles and I got here late.  I just hit balls.  I didn't play the course.  My caddie walked it and watched a bunch of guys playing and said it was playing hard and fast.
But it's been a fun week.  And tonight is another little dinner to push The Presidents Cup a little bit.  I was not expecting 70.  I'm not going to lie to anyone.  But I'm thrilled.

Q.  (Inaudible)
FRED COUPLES:  Somehow we got the pairing.  We played last year together, too.  He's my all time favorite.
I've not been playing any golf.  I skipped last week.  To be honest, I sent him a text and said do you really want me in this group, I've played no golf.  You're nervous playing with him.  But I was more nervous, because I've not played since Savannah with Jay Haas and I didn't play well there.  So to go through all that, I did beat him (laughter).
I have never played with Keegan, and that was a lot of fun.¬† Keegan is truly long.¬† He can really play.¬† I look forward to tomorrow.¬† I'm in great shape.¬† I think in the afternoon, from what I saw there weren't a lot of scores in the 60s.¬† I like it because I would never take a spot‑‑ I'm The Presidents Cup captain coming here, but I would never want to take a spot to come play because I'm going to see the guys and look at the course.
I practiced pretty hard yesterday.¬† I wasn't great, but I got in a round.¬† I was 3‑under and doubled 8 and bogeyed from 90 yards.
On No. 9, I shanked a wedge into the water, something I've ever done.  I've putted extremely well and I look forward to playing tomorrow.

Q.  Did you feel relaxed?
FRED COUPLES:¬† No, on this course it's not easy.¬† And we don't play it like this all the time.¬† It played really, really fast.¬† So there were a lot of 3‑woods off the tees, which I think helped me.¬† Those guys hit it so far that it makes it entertaining.
I only get to play with Tiger once in a while.¬† For me, personally, you know, it was windy, the course is extremely hard.¬† Obviously there were some good scores in the morning, but I think tomorrow afternoon if the wind blows, it's kind of‑‑ you see if someone can come out tomorrow afternoon and shoot 4‑ or 5‑under they'll be leading by a few, if they're the top four or five guys.
I think we're going to dinner for members.  I got to meet the President yesterday.  I'm sitting down doing an interview with Jack today and I played with Tiger.  Hard to top that.  What's next?

Q.  What was it like being out with Joey again?
FRED COUPLES:¬† Well, three years ago I played with Dustin Johnson, and Joey was assist caddying for Dustin.¬† This year I didn't knock over the bag as many times‑‑ with Dustin it actually went over a couple of times.¬† It was pretty funny.¬† Not trying to be smart, I went over and thought Joe was my caddie.¬† But 10 or 15 years ago, I know he liked Tiger and vice‑versa.¬† It's nice to see them working together.

Q.  You looked like you were up for it today?
FRED COUPLES:  Well, yeah, if I'd have known I was going to make that putt to beat Tiger on 18, it might have been a little bit different.  I won't lie to you, I asked to see if I could get paired, it probably might be my last time playing with Tiger.  Maybe at Augusta I might get paired with him.  If he can be leading after two rounds again, maybe I'll get a shot at him.
So I was blessed to play with him.  And my goal when I play with him always is to try to hit it solid and stay out of his way.  And today was a good one.

Q.  Why do you like playing with him so much?
FRED COUPLES:¬† Well, I think because, you know, it's‑‑ I don't know, it's kind of‑‑ I can shoot free throws with Michael Jordan who is a friend, but I can't do anything else with him.¬† I can play golf with him.¬† That's not the same. ¬†And in golf he's the best player, and I play on the Champions Tour so I rarely get to see him.¬† Around Augusta I always try to hit balls next to him, because there's a lot of guys‑‑ I used to practice with Davis Love, but Tiger is Tiger.¬† You saw it.
Keegan played great, but he still hit incredible shots.¬† He didn't putt very well for him.¬† Otherwise he could have been 3‑under par easily and be right there.¬† He'll have work tomorrow.¬† I like the way he plays.¬† I think he's always sharp and plays well.¬† And it's good to watch.

Q.  How was the trip to the White House?
FRED COUPLES:  It was great.  Nick Price and his wife went up with my girlfriend yesterday and we got to spend 20 minutes with him in his busy schedule.  And Nick went home and I came down and practiced here a couple of hours.  It was fun.  We got a couple of stories and a couple of pictures.

Q.  How was the putting?
FRED COUPLES:  The putting was great.  He didn't go out there.

Q.  Did you give him any tips?
FRED COUPLES:  We asked him to come here in October and he said he couldn't do it.  And we asked him again and he said he couldn't do it.  We said we'd check in a couple more months from now.  No, no tips.  He had a couple of funny stories.  It was really a very special 20 minutes.

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