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MASTERS TOURNAMENT


April 11, 2014


Fred Couples


AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

Q. How does it feel?
FRED COUPLES: I feel great. It was a good day, hard day. If you looked at a lot of the scoring, 71 is a good score and I feel very good with that. It's a hard course and it's rock hard out there. It's hard to make little tricky putts and hit the iron shots close.
And you're just kind of‑‑ you're just trying to struggle to get 20 and 30 footers, and then maybe birdie a par‑5 or two and not make any bogeys. And that's about what I did today. I made a couple of bad shots, but overall I hit the ball really, really well.

Q. What did you hit on 12 and how fortunate was that?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I will say I got very, very lucky. But Webb hit right before me and hit a 9‑iron and hit it in the back bunker and I was shocked. And so I stood there and we felt like the wind maybe had switched. And then I hit and right when the ball was going the wind kind of turned around the other way. And luckily I was aiming far enough left that it didn't catch the big bank and the slope. Very lucky.
And then I had a perfect lie. I was so excited it didn't go in the water, I kind of nonchalanted and kind of flubbed the chip and made a bogey there.
The balls were 20 and 30 yards apart with 9‑irons. And I got lucky by getting over the water.

Q. Can you win this thing?
FRED COUPLES: Can I win it? Yeah. That's why I'm here. Come over here tomorrow night and if I play well, which I haven't the last couple of years, you know, then I'll answer that question again. But you have to play well tomorrow.
And Bubba is playing very, very well. But none of us can stop Bubba. If he goes out and does what he did yesterday and today he's the guy to beat.
But I'm not here just to play golf and think that I can't compete on this course. I can't compete with these guys over a year, but on one week I can compete and I have to do it tomorrow.

Q. Would your approach tomorrow be any different after what happened the last two years?
FRED COUPLES: Well, I'm averaging 76 the last two Saturdays, which is not very good. So my approach will be to average anything lower than that to bring my average down (laughter).
It's a really, really hard course. And when you panic and then try and do a couple of things because, oh, God, I was tied for the lead or in second. Now I'm in 12th place. And then you try and hit a shot and it doesn't work out. And you go to 18th place. You can't do it that. I mean you're trying to play the course and shoot the lowest score you can.
I felt the pressure last year, but I really didn't play poorly. I made triple on 17, which really looked bad. And then didn't play too bad on Sunday to have a good finish. But I want to play better tomorrow.

Q. What's been the common denominator through the weekend, even though it hasn't worked out for you?
FRED COUPLES: Well, you know one is‑‑ I won't talk my way out of it. It's a really hard course. If you look, I don't know how many guys shot 71, 75 or, you know, 70, 74. I mean 74 is really not a bad score out there. But when you are pinpointed to be in the lead after two rounds and then you shoot 74 or 75 you get passed by a few players so you lose ground. And my goal tomorrow is not to lose ground. Maybe it's to pick up some. But I have to play really well.
I didn't pinpoint really anything the last two years on Saturday except just some bad play which led to maybe a little panic and you'll do that at Augusta. It's not like I walk around and hit every shot where I'm looking. But I have to putt well tomorrow, too. You're going to have a lot of par putts. The greens are like concrete. And I don't think they're going to water them. I think I'm going to be playing at like 2:00 tomorrow, so they're not exactly going to be green and lush. So I'm going to have a lot of four, five, six footers for par. And I've done well so far but, you know, I can't be making a lot of bogeys.

Q. (Inaudible.)
FRED COUPLES: Well, you know, winning it is one thing. Playing well is another. But it's fun. The last four years I've come here I expect to play well. I really do. I don't think I'm a 75 shooter, but you put a guy in the lead of a Major like this and things happen where you just, you know, at the end of the day, you're frustrated.
Can I win? Yeah. I really think I can win. Well, I've got to play really good golf. And so does Bubba Watson. Or Jamie Donaldson, who is making a move. Or Jonas Blixt. They have to play well.

Q. What do you think a second win here does to your standing?
FRED COUPLES: A second win here would be‑‑ I have no idea. I don't know. I've never‑‑ I don't think about it. I think about playing well and‑‑ when you start thinking about that you kind of go crazy. But would I want to put on another jacket here? Yeah. But I've got 36 holes. I need to play better than I did the last two days. And I felt like I played really well. I've got my work cut out for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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