What they said: Tom Lehmantext sizeNovember 03, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Charles Schwab Cup Championship transcripts
DAVE SENKO: Fred, thanks for joining us 8-under, 62 today including 2 eagles. Maybe just some quick thoughts on your round, and we will get your birdies and the 2 eagles and get some questions.
FRED COUPLES: Well, the quick thoughts are, you know, I was thrilled to be 8-under after two rounds, and I saw Jay's round yesterday and, you know, I'm not going to sit here and say I needed a great round to get back in the tournament. But I did have a great round. And I hit the ball solid, pretty much where I was looking. I was just a little disappointed at par 18, but I felt like I hit a pretty good second shot where I was aiming and it just didn't carry up to the front part of the green. But other than that, I felt like I made good putts when I needed to, and I did leave a couple out there, but I made a couple nice 20-footers and obviously chipped in on No. 8 for eagle.
DAVE SENKO: Birdies, No. 1?
FRED COUPLES: No. 1, I hit a sand wedge to about six feet. Par-3, I hit a 6-iron 15 feet behind the hole and made it. The chip-in was probably 40 feet, maybe 50 feet. 45, 50 feet. 14, I hit a wedge to 20 feet, made it. The par-5 I hit a 3-iron to about six or eight feet and made it. 17, I hit a 4-iron 20 feet and made it.
DAVE SENKO: Questions?
Q. You mentioned the putts that you left out there kind of in the middle of the round, did you feel like you were rolling it well and they had a chance, or that it was going to stop dropping??
FRED COUPLES: You know, a little in between all of those. Some looked okay. Some were hit a little soft. Maybe a couple were misjudged. I didn't have 10 putts that I missed. But I did start hitting it in there. No. 9 I had a really close putt. No. 11, the par-3. No. 12. And then I guess 13, the next par-3, all of those right in a row, and I didn't make any. And I had a very straight -- no putts seem easy, but the one I did make, I just got it on line and it went in. The same as on 17. I felt like I didn't go putt any faster, but my first read I kind of trusted it. Because you sit out here, and you look at the mountains over here and everyone tells you that it breaks toward the City, and then you do this. And the next thing you know, you are forgetting how hard to hit it but you think you have the line down. The greens are so pure, that the back 9 after a few of those, and I did hit good putts. I thought I made the one on 13, the par-3, maybe. But that started it. That was a little bit of a quicker routine, and I did putt pretty well from there on in, obviously.
Q. So what's your approach for tomorrow, you're in the final group but there seems to be so many low scores out there, do you still feel like you have to be firing?
FRED COUPLES: To be honest -- did Tom birdie the last? So he is 17-under, and I am 16, and Jay birdied for 15. I don't even know what the next place is. So 10. So that person, you know, could shoot 60 and maybe still lose. So really, I would be surprised, I don't know if he is 10-under, if that's fourth place then I would think Jay, Tom or I are going to win tomorrow. I will go out an a limb and say that. For me, I haven't played much, so today was a very positive day. Tomorrow, I think, you know, may not be as easy as it was today. I don't mean score-wise, I mean hitting the ball. To shoot 8-under, I hit the ball very, very well. Tomorrow I have to play good golf to hang in there. Obviously, Tom and Jay have been playing a little bit more. Tom probably even more than Jay. But, you know, maybe 22-under. What am I 16? That would be another 6-under. So, you know, I could see another one, Tom or Jay shooting a 64 or 65.
Q. It's looks like the back is holding up okay, are you making any compensations in your swing for it, or are you playing like you always do?
FRED COUPLES: No, it's so dry and warm, a lot of times, you know I've said the opposite, like if it's cold, it doesn't really bother me. But for my first week back to have it this dry and warm, I pretty much freeloaded on a lot of shots. It's nice that I have driven it pretty well because I have had shorts irons. But I feel better each day. I didn't really feel great Friday morning, that would be yesterday, and then this morning I felt better. So hopefully it's going around where maybe the little more I play, it might loosen up. But if I can play like this every two months I think I might finish my career playing four times a year and just say the heck with it.
Q. Did you have any expectations coming in this week because you haven't been able to do anything for such a long stretch?
FRED COUPLES: No, no. And to be perfectly honest, when I got here I really liked the course. There are a lot of canyon golf courses here. I never played here. And when I played it in the Pro-Am I felt like a lot of the holes maybe, as they say, caught your eye. Some of them don't. I have hit some pretty good tee shots on those holes. But, you know, what did I think I was going to shoot? I was hoping I could get it around and start to play and then after this week take a few days off and then slowly start to play. That was my goal, just to get back to playing golf and see how I felt. But I made a lot of birdies in the Pro-Am, and I have continued to make them which is very surprising. I'm not going to tell you it's like this, or it should be like this. Even a couple of chip shots that I've had, which I don't particularly think I'm a great chipper even when I play every day, I got it up and down. Some of them were fairly simple but some were a little more difficult, but I still got them up and down to make birdies or keep the round going. I'm going to have to play really well tomorrow and we will see. I think I will take a lot of what happened today and go out there and try to get the ball in play and make some putts.
Q. How is the rough playing, is it pretty sticky, can you get a club through there pretty freely?
FRED COUPLES: You can get a club through the rough. When you are in the rough, it's a little disappointing because it's hard to get the ball close to the hole. And the greens, they're firming up a little bit, but they are not rock hard by any means. Some of the cute little holes, where you hit 9-iron and wedges, you got to hit the fairways to put a little spin on it, but the rough is not too difficult to play out of.
DAVE SENKO: Thank you.
FRED COUPLES: Thanks.