Toshiba Classic interview: Fred Couples

March 16, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Toshiba Classic transcript archive

I don't know how I finished, I had a shot last year and won the year before. I really like the course. I feel like for some reason a lot of people struggle on these greens. I do struggle at times, but very rarely with the speed of the greens and that certainly helped me today. I lagged a lot of 30 and 40 footers up there close and tomorrow I'm going to do the same. You don't want many 4 and 5 footers for par out here if you're going to try and catch David. My goal is to go out and try to play better than I did today and continue to make a few putts.

Q. Talk about the last hole, the putt on the last hole.

FRED COUPLES: Yeah. I hit a good drive and I wasn't going to miss it to the right, so I hit a 4 iron pretty much where I was looking and got it down there where you want to try and give those a good shot. But once it was by the hole it was a little downhill, a little quicker, so I decided to trickle it down there and I left it just short. But I was not going to gun it five feet by and do something stupid.

Q. Was that like a 28 , 30 foot ...

FRED COUPLES: Yeah, somewhere around there, maybe 35 feet.

Q. What is it about this tournament that draws a great field?

FRED COUPLES: I think the fans, this is one of our better tournaments for turnout. They're very loud, they have a good time. Most tournaments do, but here they're very supportive of the hospital and the charities, and the people running it do a great job. I'm in California now, grew up in Seattle, so I've played a lot of courses like this. It's not long but it's very tricky and I seem to miss it in the right spots.

Q. Do you feel like you played as well today as you did yesterday?

FRED COUPLES: No, I didn't play yesterday was much more solid. I didn't hit any miraculous shots yesterday, I just hit the ball better. Today, a couple of the bogeys I made were really very poor 8 iron I had an 8 iron on the 4th hole and an 8 iron to birdie 6. One was teed up on a par 3, the other one couldn't have been any easier and I made 5 bogey on both those holes, so that took away a little bit. But other than that, I putted well and I hit the ball okay.

Q. You were on the range today for a little longer than usual.

FRED COUPLES: And I'll be out there tomorrow, too, just hitting wedges, trying to keep swinging. I haven't played a whole lot. I practiced the last three or four days before I came here in Palm Springs and it's a lot cooler and I'm a lot tighter, so I'm not hitting drivers, that's for sure, but I'm hitting a few more wedges.

Q. So it's not like you're working on any specific


Q. So Couples, Frost, what should people expect?

FRED COUPLES: Well, I know what I'm going to see from him, it's going to be good golf. He's one ahead. I'm certainly not going to be able to shoot a 69 or 70 and win, so I have to shoot something very, very good, maybe like today or whatever. But he's going to play well and I feel like I will, too.

Q. What are your thoughts on the anchoring rule and how that might affect this Tour?

FRED COUPLES: You know, I don't really know. I've been saying this whole time, we're all pretty smart, we're all knowledgeable to make a right decision. If the belly putter goes, then I will use a putter that's a little shorter. It's not that difficult.

Q. Do you think that some guys will say, hey, I don't need this anymore and this is what keeps me playing?

FRED COUPLES: I don't know who that would be, but everyone will figure out a way to putt. They may not putt as well. I don't know if it's some people think it's fair. If I were 60 years old and I putted for 30 years with a belly putter, I might think it's a little bit harsh, but they're not going to make any drastic blunders and make the game worse than it is. But you never know. Maybe it will stay on our Tour and the regular Tour, I don't really know.

Q. How's your back holding up?

FRED COUPLES: I feel good.

Q. I see on the commercials, is it all because of whatever you're taking?

FRED COUPLES: Well, that's more for inflammation, it's not going to cure my back, but I have high levels of inflammation that have gone way down so I will tout it on that. But it's not curing my bones, but it is making things work better in my blood and everything else.

Q. Physical therapist working overtime basically?

FRED COUPLES: Basically.

Q. Freddie, on 17 today, that putt you had from the right hand side of the green back there, when you hit the ball, you like went "oh," you know?

FRED COUPLES: Well, I thought I hit it too hard.

Q. You took a long time looking.

FRED COUPLES: Yeah, because I...

Q. Were there people moving?

FRED COUPLES: No. I played with someone there that played it too low and it went all the way to the front of the green, and I felt like they didn't cut the green as low as the other ones, which is probably smart because that green is so sloped. I just kept looking higher and higher, figured if I hit it correct, would it get over the hill. That's what I was trying. If I hit it too soft and it went short, it would have just gone sideways.

Q. So you weren't trying to make it?

FRED COUPLES: Exactly. Trying to get it within five feet.

Q. Can you go over just a couple of your birdie holes?

FRED COUPLES: Hit it three feet on No. 2 for birdie was sand wedge. There I hit it on and 2 putted. There I hit a bad 8 iron, bogeyed. Another bad 8 iron, bogey. Hit a sand wedge to about four feet and made it for birdie. Made a 30 footer for birdie. Hit a good wedge to about 12 feet and made birdie. Those two I hit on the green and 2 putted from maybe 38, 40 feet.

Q. A bit of a struggle at times off the tee today but you've got to be pleased with how you played today. What are your impressions?

FRED COUPLES: Well, I think the main impression is I got done and I'm one behind David, who made a nice eagle on the last hole. It was a great pairing. I haven't played with Jimmy Gallagher in a long, long time, and obviously Frosty is one of our best ball strikers. I wasn't great today, but I made a few putts and I'll take 5 under anytime.

Q. You hit a lot of balls on the driving range the last couple days. The question everybody always wants to know, are you feeling really good health wise?

FRED COUPLES: Well, it's a little cooler, so I've been on the range longer just hitting wedges and sand wedges, trying to loosen up. Yesterday I felt really, really good. Today I felt the same. I just felt maybe I've got so much Icy Hot on my back that it felt like it was cooling me down at times. But you know, a few mis-hits. When you're going to do that, the ball's not going to go as far or certainly straight. But I let a couple easy 8 iron shots go. I bogeyed the 4th hole and then the 6th hole from 145 yards, which really kind of killed me, but I made up for it with a good putt.

Q. We look forward to watching you tomorrow.

FRED COUPLES: Thank you.