Category: Fred Couples

December 03, 2013

Fred Couples raises 12th Man flag at Seahawks game

Posted at 12:10 PM by Mike Walker


Fred Couples is now two for two in ceremonial roles this year. First, Couples captained the U.S. Presidents Cup team to victory in October, then on Monday night the Seattle native raised the "12th Man" flag prior to the Seahawks demolishing the Saints 34-7 at Seattle's CenturyLink Field.

A Seahawks season ticket holder and sports nut who is often seen at NBA games, Couples was thrilled to get the chance to raise the flag, the symbol of the NFL's most maniacal fan base, and even compared the honor to his Masters victory in 1992.

"I've got to be honest, this is more fun than golf ever is," Couples said prior to raising the flag. He also promised to "act like a nut here for about 30 seconds." After watching the Seahawks' video of Couples raising the flag and then breaking a driver on his knee, we can only say, "Mission accomplished."

Photo: From NFL/Seattle Seahawks video

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October 06, 2013

Woman streaker races past Fred Couples at Presidents Cup

Posted at 5:43 PM by Pete Madden


Streaker at Muirfield Village
Credit: Getty Images


Just when we were starting to lose interest in the rain-delayed, tape-delayed, drama-free 2013 Presidents Cup on Sunday, a patriotic streaker ran right past a curious Fred Couples [above] on the 18th hole at Muirfield Village.

Streaker at Muirfield Village
Credit: Getty Images


Golf streakers are a rare breed -- and generally seem to play their trade across the pond -- but with a U.S. victory all-but-assured before the start of singles play Sunday, we'll take whatever excitement we can get.

Stephanie Wei reported that the stunt may have actually been a tribute to 46-year-old Steve Stricker.

“She was after Steve,” said [Ernie Els], after beating Stricker 1 up, smiling. “We both looked the other way.” ... Stricker, with his wife Nicki standing next to him said, “She was yelling, ‘Streaking for Stricker.’” Understandably, Mrs. Stricker shook her head, though she seemed slightly amused, as well.

Streaker at Muirfield Village
Credit: Getty Images


No word yet on her identity as early reports (below, from Golf News Net) suggest that she may have actually escaped capture.

The streaker, a woman, was not immediately identified. Fans on the grounds said the woman ran all the way up the 18th fairway a little after 2 p.m. ET, evading police trying to catch her. She may well have completely escaped legal troubles.

Related: Great moments in golf streaking photo gallery

Related: Presidents Cup WAGs photo galley

 Related: The best photos from the 2013 Presidents Cup

For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.

September 04, 2013

Westwood says Spieth should be Prez Cup pick

Posted at 10:20 AM by Pete Madden

Fred Couples and Nick Price will announce their respective Presidents Cup captain's picks today at 2 p.m., and the debate about what golfers deserve the final two spots on Team USA has tracked along familiar lines -- youth vs. experience.

Britain's Lee Westwood has joined the chorus of voices in favor of 20-year-old rookie sensation Jordan Spieth, who recently finished T4 at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston to attach an exclamation point to his candidacy.

Jim Furyk, Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson have also been floated as possible selections to play at Muirfield Village in October.

(Photo: Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

April 11, 2013

Gary Player's Diary: 'How I Out-Drove Jack and Arnie'

Posted at 8:37 PM by


I woke up just past five this morning to be the first person on the practice tee. The sky was still half dark, and I had hours to go before my 7:45 tee-time along side Jack and Arnold. As honorary starters, we would only hit one shot, but I wanted to be perfectly loose. It was so serene, out there before the crowds. That special Augusta peace. Turf so lush you’d swear it’s artificial. Warm water in the range buckets. The sun cutting through the pines. You have to wonder how a place like this is possible, seeing it all like that.

I wanted to outdrive them. That’s why I was out so early. You could bet Jack and Arnold wanted to out-drive me, too. It’s great fun, teeing off next to two people I grew up with. But there’s always a competitive spirit when the three of us get together. We’re terrific friends, and we needle each other all the time. You can’t turn that off. And I’ve got to tell you, I couldn’t believe how many people came out to see us tee off. As I came over from the range, there were droves of people, thousands, all lined up and cheering. Like when we were going head-to-head years ago. Arnold’s 83, so he can’t expect to get the distance that Jack and I do. He doesn’t have the strength. But he opened with a beautiful shot, right down the middle. I hit mine fairly well; I didn’t quite catch it, but I knocked into the fairway fine enough. Jack caught his solid, but he hooked it into the pine needles and it skipped and rolled into the trees.

Afterward, Jack turned to me. “Well,” he said, “Looks like I had the longest drive.”

“No!” I told him, “Your drive ended up in the pine needles! You know how much run you get over there. You’ve got to hit the fairway to count for longest drive!” He had a great laugh. When it comes to longest hit, I won this one -- ask anyone who was there. You’ve got to hit the fairway.

As for the golf, I must say I’ve never seen better conditions for scoring than Thursday. Not a breath of wind, the course is soft, the greens are holding. Augusta has never played easier in the 56 years I’ve known it.

That doesn’t mean I’m not impressed with the golf. I was very impressed with what Rickie Fowler did, double-bogeying the first hole, taking another double-bogey and still shooting 68. That's very tough to do and he must be very tough mentally.

Of course, it’s marvelous to see Freddie Couples at four under par. Freddie has the swing that every weekend golfer should try to emulate, and every teacher should try to teach. If you can move like him, you’ll play well for a long, long time.

Then there’s Guan Tianliang. I was anxious to see if he would break 80. I said this morning, if he could shoot 76 at 14 years of age that would be an unbelievable score. If he could break 76, it would be the round of the day. Just him being here is a golfing miracle. And to shoot 73! After a good round at Augusta, I found it so difficult to calm down. The next morning, I forced myself to do everything in slow motion when preparing for my round. I spoke slower. I put my shoes on slower. I drove to the club slower, I took my first practice swings slower. All just to stay steady, to keep my mind composed. I hope Guan does the same. I cannot wait to see how he plays tomorrow.

As for the rest of them, it’s only Thursday. I never, ever let the first round influence my thinking. There’s no such thing as a lead at the Masters until you hole the last put on the last hole. Then you have permission to celebrate.

--Gary Player

Photo: Matt Slocum/Associated Press

February 18, 2013

They Said It! Butch on Tiger and Obama in Quotes of the Week

Posted at 5:03 PM by Mike Walker
Sergio_quote1. “I think obviously golf is great. We haven't really had anything going on. So we'll see, we started testing, what was it, 2008 I think, and nothing has really come around.”

--Sergio Garcia on performance enhancing drugs in golf




Brandtjobe_quote2.“Don't tell anybody, but we would jump the fence
and get in.”

--Brandt Jobe on watching Fred Couples win the LA Open at Riviera when he was at UCLA




Ernieels_quote3. “There's no data that really confirms that they have to ban it."

--Ernie Els on the USGA and R&A’s proposed ban on anchored putting




Fredcouples_quote4. “If I'm playing well, I can walk around this course and feel like I'm going to shoot par or very close to it every single time.”

--Fred Couples on playing at Riviera, where he’s won twice




Lukedonald_quote5. “I usually give him six a side and that's usually not enough for him.”

--Luke Donald on playing golf with Michael Jordan 





Doak_quote6. "I believe there's a wisdom within The Old Course that goes beyond what anyone today understands about golf course architecture."

--Golf-course architect Tom Doak on the R&A’s changes to the Old Course



Rayfloyd_quote7. “There are guys in there that it's a joke. It takes integrity away from the term 'Hall of Fame.' I'm very upset at the Hall of Fame.”

--Raymond Floyd to Golf Magazine after announcement that Fred Couples and Colin Montgomerie would be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame


Butchharmon_quote8. "The President said to Tiger: `The last tournament you played was fun to watch. It's good to see you play well again.' You could tell he meant it. It just wasn't a throw it out compliment."

--Butch Harmon on watching President Obama and Tiger Woods play golf together


Stevie_williams_quote9. “To be that good, that young, and that composed at that age is just incredible."

--Caddie Stevie Williams on fellow New Zealander Lydia Ko




Charliebeljan_quote10. “Thursday and Friday for me suck. I think they are boring. I don't enjoy them. Saturday and Sunday, that's what we wheel and deal.”

--Charlie Beljan on being in the hunt at Riviera on Sunday

February 14, 2013

Fred Couples: I can walk around Riviera and shoot par

Posted at 5:56 PM by Mike Walker

FreddieFred Couples hits his tee shot on the 12th hole at the Northern Trust Open on Thursday (Getty Images).

Earlier this week, Fred Couples said he could walk around Riviera Country Club and shoot par. Turns out he can do a little better than that.

Playing on a sponsor's exemption, Couples shot a three-under-par 68 on Thursday at the Northern Trust Open to end the day near the top of the leaderboard.

"If I'm playing well, I can walk around this course and feel like I'm going to shoot par or very close to it every single time," Couples said Wednesday.

Couples's history at the Northern Trust Open includes wins in 1990 and 1992 and several close calls, including the 2009 event won by Phil Mickelson. Now 53, Couples plays primarily on the Champions Tour, but he still has the game -- and the length -- to compete with the young guns on the tracks he loves, especially at Riviera and Augusta National. He more than held his own with playing partners Bubba Watson and Lee Westwood on Thursday. (Westwood shot 68, while Watson shot a six-over 77.)

"Northern Trust has been very, very nice to a lot of players, but me especially to give me a spot," Couples said. "But you know, there are some tournaments where I feel like people deserve to play and I feel like I deserve to be in this field. I've played here a long time and had a lot of great finishes."

Couples also had the inside scoop on why Tiger Woods isn't at Riviera this week from his former caddie Joe LaCava, who is now on Woods's bag. Couples called LaCava earlier in the week to see how the New Jersey resident was dealing with the Northeast blizzard.

"Besides getting 25 inches of snow to see if he was okay, I asked if Tiger was going to play," Couples said. "He said he talked about it but he's just not going to play."

Couples said he wasn't surprised Woods passed on Riviera this week, but he thinks the course would favor Woods's game.

"When I was a good player, I didn't play a lot of tournaments and I felt like I just couldn't prepare for other ones," Couples said. "But I'm surprised he's not won here before. I would think that if this is a good course for him, it's got to be a really good one for him.

"And the same as Phil," Couples continued. "I think Phil didn't play here for a long, long time and then came back and now I bet every time he plays, he feels like he's the guy to beat."

For Couples, Riviera is one of his three favorite PGA Tour courses, along with TPC Sawgrass and the Memorial.

"Obviously when you pick majors, it's a different story," Couples said. "Augusta is my all time favorite."

October 09, 2012

Live tweets from 'The Re-Match' at Cypress, featuring Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler vs. Davis Love and Nick Watney

Posted at 12:29 PM by

SI's Alan Shipnuck tweeted from the hush-hush charity match at Cypress Point today, which featured Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler vs. Davis Love and Fred Couples Nick Watney, who stepped in as a last-minute replacement:

September 19, 2012

Fred Couples elected to World Golf Hall of Fame

Posted at 3:17 PM by

FreddieFred Couples is heading to the Hall of Fame. One of the most popular players in the history of the PGA Tour, Couples has won 15 PGA Tour titles, including the 1992 Masters. He has also won eight titles on the Champions Tour. He played on five Ryder Cup and five Presidents Cup teams. Next year he will serve as captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team for the third time.

(Related Photos: Fred Couples Career in Pictures)

"I am honored by my selection to the World Golf Hall of Fame," Couples said. "It is humbling to have received the votes and to be included in a group of such legendary players."

Couples, 52, received 51 percent of the vote from the selection committee, one percent more than the 50-percent threshold for induction. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced the news in a press conference on Wednesday at East Lake Country Club, site of this week's Tour Championship.

"Fred Couples is one of those unique players whose talent and accomplishments are Hall-of-Fame caliber, as are his personality and popularity," said Finchem. "He has been a fan favorite for decades, thanks to not only his significant achievements on the golf course, but also because of his relatable, friendly demeanor that has connected him to fans around the world. Congratulations to Fred on this incredible honor."

Couples will be inducted in May of 2013 during the week of the Players Championship.

(Photo: Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

July 30, 2012

Tweets of the Week: Golfers at the Olympics, Couples wins Senior British Open and more

Posted at 4:45 PM by Jillian Whalen

Fred Couples won the 2012 Senior British Open at Turnberry this weekend.

Several pros are following the Olympics:

Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose celebrated their birthdays.

Some of the LPGA ladies shared pictures from the final night of the Evian Masters Tournament.

July 27, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Charles Barkley says Tiger won't dominate

Posted at 1:48 PM by Mike Walker

Charles Barkley -- Hall of Fame basketball player, Dream Teamer, friend of Tiger, and noted golf victim -- told Golf Channel's Morning Drive that he believes the days of Tiger dominating golf are over. Reid Cherner at USA Today was watching:

"He's back," Barkley said on the Golf Channel's Morning Drive.

"He's won three times. Nobody else has won three times." But he thinks the competition will make it too difficult for Woods to return to his former glory.

"...he's not going to dominate majors like he did in the past," he said. "These young players are so good now and anybody can on any given week can win out there. I think he will win some more majors. I'm hoping for him. I root for him. I'm a big Tiger Woods fan. No disrespect to Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, but this new generation, they're like Tiger Woods clones."

In other Tiger news, Ryder Cup vice captain Fred Couples said he will keep Woods loose at the Ryder Cup in Chicago this fall, according to The Scottish Daily Record

Couples, who plays in this week’s Senior Open, said: “You’d be an idiot to say that what happened to him wasn’t something he regretted but I don’t talk to him about that. I talk to him about golf. I tell him how great he’s playing and how much fun it is to see him winning again.

“And when he wasn’t playing well I was telling him, ‘Your swing looks terrible. When is it going to improve?’

“So there’s a lot of teasing and a lot of building him up and that’s my relationship with him. “Now in the Ryder Cup, he’s one of our best players again and there’s no reason to worry.

“Anyone would choose Tiger Woods but I feel with my friendship with him, he’s an easy guy to handle and be around.

“When we get to Chicago I’ll get to take care of three or four guys and it will be a lot of fun. It won’t be too serious, golf is golf.”

Phil Mickelson blames missed cuts on lack of focus

Phil Mickelson appeared on CBS This Morning to promote his efforts on behalf of the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy and chatted with golf fan Charlie Rose about his recent struggles. (Mickelson missed the cut at last week's British Open and his play has been uneven since finishing third at the 2012 Masters.

"I've tried to spend these last five days being introspective and trying to figure out what's going on. I think I've identified a couple things. One of the biggest areas, Charlie, is that mentally I haven't been focusing as fine as I need to."


"I've been a little lethargic these past two months."

Rose also asked Mickelson what coach Butch Harmon helps him with ("Butch has got such a great eye for the golf swing that he's quick to identify what's wrong and how to fix it") and what was the best swing he's ever seen (Tiger, circa 2000). However, Mickelson added a caveat to the best-looking swing question: "More than having an aesthetically pleasing golf swing it's understanding your golf swing that allows you to take out half the course. ... You can't play effectively if you don't know which side you're going to miss on."

Oh, and Mickelson shared his favorite golf course. No surprise, it's Augusta.

You can watch the full interview here.

Rory McIlroy goes to London Olympics to watch Caroline Wozniacki


Rory McIlroy is in London to support girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki at the Summer Olympics. And while this trip was a short hop from Open venue Royal Lytham & St. Annes, McIlroy's good buddy Graeme McDowell suggests that McIlroy's frequent travel might be tiring him out. Devil Ball Golf's Jonathan Wall has more:

Coming off a T-60 at the Open Championship -- his fourth straight major finish outside the top 25 -- he has one final major start to turn things around, but as fellow countryman Graeme McDowell noted during a recent visit on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, his recent struggles may have something to do with the amount of time he's spending in-between starts traveling to watch Wozniacki in tournaments, instead of working on his game.

"There's no doubt, all the travelling is wearing him down a little bit and we are seeing a little bit of fatigue," McDowell said on the Golf Channel yesterday as he co-hosted the Morning Drive show. "But he's a fit kid and he's a young kid and he has all the talent in the world. It is only a matter of time [before he comes back]."

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