U.S. Ryder Cup Vice Captain Fred Couples talks return from back injury
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Written by Justin Lemminn @PGATOUR
After nine weeks away from competition, Fred Couples made his return to PGA TOUR Champions competition last week at the Boeing Classic, where he finished T26. But prior to the start of play in Snoqualmie, Washington, the 14-time Champions winner shed some light on the reason for the break, revealing he was dealing with a back injury.
“I found out I had a little hernia issue in January, and I tried to stretch it a little and, in a nutshell, I rode a cart on all the Champions Tour events, and then some of them we couldn’t, so I skipped them,” Couples explained to PGATOUR.com.
“Then all of a sudden, my legs started to really bother me, so I went in and the doctor said, ‘Come on, you can’t keep screwing around,’ so I went and had…July 5th actually, he worked on me. So here we are a month and a few days later, and this is the third time I’ve hit driver in six days,” he added. “I’m doing ok, I’m not embarrassing myself after being off for almost nine weeks.”
Fred Couples sheds light on his recent back injury
Couples opened with a 3-under 69 at the Boeing Classic and finished the tournament at 3 under, 16 shots behind eventual winner Stephen Ames.
The five-time U.S. Ryder Cup Team member also took a minute to look ahead to this year’s biennial matches, where he’ll make his third appearance as part of the Ryder Cup brass, serving as a vice captain to Zach Johnson in Rome at the end of September.
While Couples said he has plenty of fond memories from his time on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team, his favorite includes none other than his longtime pairings partner, Davis Love III.
“I would say watching Davis (Love III) make that putt at The Belfry on the last hole (the winning putt that would see the U.S. win 15-13 over Europe in 1993),” said Couples, who teamed with Love for a 6-4-1 record in Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup matches.
“That was a huge moment, and Davis was probably one of my best friends at the time, so watching him make that putt was a thrill of a lifetime.”
Fred Couples talks favorite Ryder Cup memory
With his back feeling better and the Ryder Cup right around the corner, Couples is excited to get back out on the golf course whether it be to play on the Champions Tour or observe and assist next month in Rome at the Ryder Cup.