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January 21 2011

7:48 PM

Couch on mend and playing well

After what can only be called two miserable years, it looks like Chris Couch has found his way back. Not only is he healthy, he’s playing well again. A year after finishing a career-best 79th in the FedExCup standings with two top-10s (also a career best), Couch is contention at the Bob Hope Classic -- he’s 2 under through 10 holes in the third round, 14 under for the week and just two strokes off the lead. Getting back to this point wasn’t easy, though. Shoulder problems sidelined Couch in 2008 and in 2009, while playing out of the Major Medical Extension category, Couch made just three cuts in eight starts and was again plagued by injury. Fortunately for Couch, he’d won in 2006, though that money eventually started to dry up after two years off. “A lot of bills coming in, nothing, nothing as far as income coming in, so that hurts,” Couch said. “So we borrowed a little money from my in laws and we got out here and we got off to a good start, made the first three cuts, so we were able to pay them back right away and get the year going.” From there things only got better for Couch, who earned enough money to finish inside the top 125 and keep his card. But he almost didn’t make it to the Bob Hope Classic. Couch’s wrist was hurting him and he thought about pulling out of the tournament. “I was on the airplane on the way over and I was in excruciating pain,” Couch said. “I didn't know how I was going to be able to play.” For two days, Couch iced and wrapped his wrist. ”I only swung at about 70 percent, but at least I got a feel for the courses,” Couch said of his Monday practice round. “Tuesday it started feeling better and it's felt better every day.” If he keeps playing the way he is so far, it’ll feel even better. “Having those two years off, it's just a pleasure to be out here,” Couch said. “I'm just going to keep having fun and whatever happens, happens.” -- Brian Wacker (Photo: Dunn/Getty Images)
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