Fred Couples

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Fred Couples
— Golfer —
Fred Couples.jpg
Couples in July 2008
Personal information
Full nameFrederick Steven Couples
NicknameBoom Boom
Born(1959-10-03) October 3, 1959 (age 54)
Seattle, Washington
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceLa Quinta, California
SpouseDeborah Couples
(m. 1981–1993)
Thais Baker
(m. 1998–2009)
Career
CollegeUniversity of Houston
Turned professional1980
Current tour(s)PGA Tour (joined 1982)
Champions Tour (joined 2010)
Professional wins63
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour15
European Tour3
Champions Tour11
Other35
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters TournamentWon: 1992
U.S. OpenT3: 1991
The Open ChampionshipT3: 1991, 2005
PGA Championship2nd: 1990
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2013 (member page)
PGA Tour
Player of the Year
1991, 1992
PGA Player of the Year1992
Vardon Trophy1991, 1992
Byron Nelson Award1991, 1992
PGA Tour
leading money winner
1992
Byron Nelson Award
(Champions Tour)
2010, 2012, 2013
 
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Fred Couples
— Golfer —
Fred Couples.jpg
Couples in July 2008
Personal information
Full nameFrederick Steven Couples
NicknameBoom Boom
Born(1959-10-03) October 3, 1959 (age 54)
Seattle, Washington
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceLa Quinta, California
SpouseDeborah Couples
(m. 1981–1993)
Thais Baker
(m. 1998–2009)
Career
CollegeUniversity of Houston
Turned professional1980
Current tour(s)PGA Tour (joined 1982)
Champions Tour (joined 2010)
Professional wins63
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour15
European Tour3
Champions Tour11
Other35
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters TournamentWon: 1992
U.S. OpenT3: 1991
The Open ChampionshipT3: 1991, 2005
PGA Championship2nd: 1990
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2013 (member page)
PGA Tour
Player of the Year
1991, 1992
PGA Player of the Year1992
Vardon Trophy1991, 1992
Byron Nelson Award1991, 1992
PGA Tour
leading money winner
1992
Byron Nelson Award
(Champions Tour)
2010, 2012, 2013

Frederick Steven Couples (born October 3, 1959) is an American professional golfer who competes on the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. A former World No. 1, he has won 57 professional tournaments, most notably the 1992 Masters Tournament.[1] In August 2011 he won his maiden senior major at the Senior Players Championship and followed this up in July 2012 when he won the Senior British Open Championship. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013.[2] Because of his long drives, Couples has been given the nickname "Boom Boom".

Early years and education[edit]

Couples was born in Seattle, Washington, to Tom and Violet (Sobich) Couples. His paternal grandparents immigrated from Italy and changed the family name from "Coppola" to "Couples" to make it sound less ethnic,[3] and his mother was of Croatian descent.[4][5] His father was a groundskeeper for the Seattle Parks Department and the family, which included brother Tom, Jr., and sister Cindy, lived in a modest house on Beacon Hill near the city's Jefferson Park golf course,[6] where Couples developed his signature loose, rhythmic swing in order to gain enough distance to keep up with the older children.

Couples attended O'Dea High School in Seattle and graduated in 1977. He accepted a golf scholarship to the University of Houston. As a member of the Houston Cougars men's golf team, he roomed with Blaine McCallister, another future PGA Tour player, and future CBS television broadcaster Jim Nantz.

Professional career[edit]

PGA Tour[edit]

Couples' first PGA Tour victory came at the 1983 Kemper Open. Playing in the final group with Scott Simpson and T. C. Chen, the three golfers finished over one hour after the previous group on the golf course. In spite of rounds of 77, 76 and 77, Couples, Simpson and Chen finished tied for first along with Gil Morgan and Barry Jaeckel who had finished their rounds several hours earlier. Jaeckel, who spent time in a bar waiting for regulation play to conclude, was eliminated on the first playoff hole after hitting a wild tee shot.[7] On the second hole, Couples scored a birdie to take home the title.[8]

In addition to his Kemper Open win, Couples won another fourteen PGA Tour titles. Among them were two Players Championships (in 1984 and 1996) and one major victory, the 1992 Masters Tournament.

Couples was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year twice, in 1991 and 1992. He also won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average in each of those years. He has been named to the United States Ryder Cup team five times, in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997.

In 1992, Couples became the first American player to reach the number one position in the Official World Golf Rankings (since the World Ranking points system debuted in April 1986). He spent 16 weeks at number 1, after one of the hottest ever starts to a season by a PGA Tour player. Beginning with the Nissan Los Angeles Open, where he defeated Davis Love III in a playoff, Couples won two tournaments and finished second in two others in the five weeks leading up to The Masters. At Augusta, Couples carried over his momentum, shooting in the 60s in each of the first three rounds to hold second place heading into Sunday. After a shaky start to his final round that allowed 49-year-old Raymond Floyd to claim the lead, Couples took it back with 18- and 20-foot birdie putts at the 8th and 9th holes, respectively, then saved par on a slick 6-footer at 10. At 12 (perhaps the scariest par-3 in the world), Couples barely cleared Rae's Creek in front of the green. Although his ball rolled back towards the water, it incredibly remained on the bank and he saved par. Sensing that destiny was on his side, Couples held off Floyd the rest of the way, completing Augusta's treacherous back nine with eight pars and one birdie to win his first Major. The win pushed Couples past the $1 million mark in earnings on the season as well, by far the fastest any player had reached that plateau.

Couples is sometimes called "Mr. Skins" because of his dominance in the Skins Game. He has won the event five times (in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2004), accumulating US$3,515,000 and 77 skins in 11 appearances. Because of his dominance at the Skins and other off-season events like the Johnnie Walker World Golf Championship, Couples is also known as the "King of the Silly Season," referring to the exotic made-for-TV events staged in the winter that are better known as the "silly season". Couples was frequently accused of "choking" in his early career, with mistakes in the 1989 Ryder Cup and the 1990 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club often mentioned.

Couples has nine top-10 finishes in the Open Championship, including tying for third in 1991 at Royal Birkdale, shooting a last round 64, and again tying for third in 2005 at St Andrews.

Back injuries have affected Couples' career. His swing features an extreme shoulder turn at the top, which, combined with the fact that he keeps his left foot flat on the ground throughout the backswing, puts a lot of pressure on his lower back. However, with an abbreviated schedule, Couples is still one of the best players on Tour. In 2003, at age 44, Couples finished 34th on the PGA Tour money list. That year he also won the Shell Houston Open, his first win in five years; Couples wept with joy after the win, but quickly explained the tears, saying: "I'm always emotional when nice things happen to nice people."

In April 2006, Couples challenged at Augusta, making a Sunday run at what would have been his second green jacket before finally losing to eventual winner Phil Mickelson, with whom he was paired in the final round. Had Couples won, he would have been the oldest player ever to win the Masters at age 46 years, 188 days—supplanting Jack Nicklaus, who, coincidentally, won his final Masters 20 years earlier and also at the age of 46. His competitiveness in the tournament was an encouraging sign for his career. "I didn't hit the ball like I was 46," Couples said.

Couples' part in the USA 1993 Dunhill Cup win included victory in all five of his matches, and his overall record reads: played 16, won 12, lost 4. In 2004, Couples won the Dunhill Links Championship Team Event at St Andrews, partnered by New Zealand amateur Craig Heatley.

In 2005 Couples sank a crucial putt in the Presidents Cup, securing an unlikely 1-up victory over the International team's best player, Vijay Singh. This match proved to be pivotal in the contest. Couples has now played Singh three times in Presidents Cup match play, and has yet to lose.

Couples at the 2009 Telus World Skins Game in Lévis, Quebec

Couples was sidelined for virtually the entire 2007 season because of health problems. However, he did compete in the 2007 Masters, making the cut for the 23rd consecutive time, tying the record held by Gary Player. Couples missed the cut in 2008 and 2009.

In 2009, Couples limited his play but performed impressively at the Northern Trust Open. If it wasn't for Phil Mickelson shooting a 62 on that Saturday, Couples may have won instead of finishing third. He nearly won the Shell Houston Open but bogeyed the last three holes and finished third behind Paul Casey. He also played well at the HP Byron Nelson Championship (T8) and the AT&T National (T11) tournaments. He hurt his back practicing for the RBC Canadian Open and had to withdraw. But he rested and recovered and made the cut for the 2009 PGA Championship (T36) and performed successfully in the Wyndham Championship (T5) which put him past the $1,000,000 mark on the money list for the 7th time in his career.

Couples was named as 2009 Presidents Cup captain for the United States team on February 26, 2008, and led the United States team to a decisive victory.

Couples tied with Jason Dufner after leading the second round of the 2012 Masters Tournament, looking to become the oldest person to win a major. He finished tied for 12th.

He is one of the few professional golfers who never plays with a glove.

Champions Tour[edit]

Couples made his debut on the Champions Tour at the opening event of the 2010 season, the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii.[9] He nearly won the tournament, finishing second to Tom Watson. Couples later stated, "I had a wonderful time. I think I was 21 under par and didn't win a tournament. That hasn't happened too many times." Had he won, he would have become the 16th player to win his Champions Tour debut. He won his next three starts, The ACE Group Classic, the Toshiba Classic and the Cap Cana Championship, becoming the first player in Champions Tour history to win three of his first four career events. Couples made another run at the 2010 Masters Tournament but finished 6th. It was his 26th top ten finish in a major tournament. A second place finish in the Senior PGA Championship was a disappointment for him. But an even greater disappointment was losing the U.S. Senior Open to Bernhard Langer. Couples had a 1 shot lead after 55 holes, but disaster struck on the par 5 2nd. He decided to lay up rather than going for the green. His lay up shot was effective, but his 3rd shot landed in the water. After dropping 4, his 5th shot was driven over the green. He was on in 6 but finished the hole with a triple bogey; his 1 shot lead became a 3 shot deficit. He played solidly the rest of the round, but couldn't catch up to Langer. He was very disappointed for letting down his hometown fans who cheered for him every step of the way. He earned a 4th win at the Administaff Small Business Classic. On Sunday, he was grouped with Corey Pavin and Mark Wiebe and soared past them and the rest of the field shooting a 9 under 63, with 29 on the back nine. Couples won the Champions Tour Rookie of the Year award in 2010.

Couples was sidelined once again for most of the 2011 season because of his stubborn back problems. But after receiving treatment in Germany, he was able to come back. He won his first major tournament on the senior circuit by defeating John Cook, on the third hole of a sudden death play-off, capturing the Senior Players Championship.

In July 2012, Couples won his second senior major championship when he won The Senior Open Championship at Turnberry. He came from a stroke back to win by two over Gary Hallberg. He made a 25 foot putt for birdie on the last hole to hold off Hallberg, for a round of three under 68 on Sunday. This was his eighth victory in total on the Champions Tour.

Other ventures[edit]

Couples co-designs golf courses with his design partner, Gene D. Bates. This venture, beginning in 1992 has resulted in the formation of Couples Bates Golf Design firm (Now Bates Golf Design Group), and over 20 award winning championship golf courses worldwide.[10]

Couples currently takes the supplement Anatabloc and is a brand ambassador for the anti-inflammatory neutraceutical containing anatabine. He wears the brand logo on his left arm of his golf shirts.

Personal[edit]

Couples' marriage to his first wife Deborah ended in 1992. They had met as students at the University of Houston in 1979. The divorce was finalized in 1993, and she later fell to her death in May 2001, ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles City coroner's office.[11] Couples' estranged wife, Thais Baker, died from breast cancer on February 17, 2009. They had married in 1998 and the union was childless.

Couples currently resides in La Quinta, California.

Couples, a self-proclaimed "Sports Junkie," is a member of the Seattle Seahawks 12th Man. He raised the 12th Man flag prior to the Seahawks Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans Saints on December 2, 2013.[12]

Awards[edit]

Professional wins (63)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (15)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (14)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
Runner(s)-up
1Jun 5, 1983Kemper Open71-71-68-77=287−1PlayoffTaiwan T.C. Chen, United States Barry Jaeckel,
United States Gil Morgan, United States Scott Simpson
2Apr 1, 1984Tournament Players Championship71-64-71-71=277−111 strokeUnited States Lee Trevino
3May 10, 1987Byron Nelson Golf Classic65-67-64-70=266−14PlayoffUnited States Mark Calcavecchia
4Feb 25, 1990Nissan Los Angeles Open68-67-62-69=266−183 strokesUnited States Gil Morgan
5Jun 27, 1991Federal Express St. Jude Classic68-67-66-68=269−113 strokesUnited States Rick Fehr
6Sep 22, 1991B.C. Open66-67-68-68=269−153 strokesUnited States Peter Jacobsen
7Mar 1, 1992Nissan Los Angeles Open68-67-64-70=269−15PlayoffUnited States Davis Love III
8Mar 22, 1992Nestle Invitational67-69-63-70=269−199 strokesUnited States Gene Sauers
9Apr 12, 1992Masters Tournament69-67-69-70=275−132 strokesUnited States Raymond Floyd
10Mar, 12 1993Honda Classic*64-73-70=207−3PlayoffUnited States Robert Gamez
11Aug 7, 1994Buick Open72-65-65-68=270−186 strokesUnited States Greg Kraft, United States Steve Pate,
United States Curtis Strange
12Mar 31, 1996The Players Championship66-72-68-64=270−184 strokesScotland Colin Montgomerie, United States Tommy Tolles
13Jan 18, 1998Bob Hope Chrysler Classic64-70-66-66-66=332−28PlayoffUnited States Bruce Lietzke
14May 31, 1998Memorial Tournament68-67-67-69=271−174 strokesUnited States Andrew Magee
15Apr 27, 2003Shell Houston Open65-68-67-67=267)−214 strokesAustralia Stuart Appleby, United States Mark Calcavecchia,
United States Hank Kuehne

* Note: The 1993 Honda Classic was shortened to 54 holes due to inclement weather.

PGA Tour playoff record (5–4)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
11983Kemper OpenTaiwan T.C. Chen, United States Barry Jaeckel,
United States Gil Morgan, United States Scott Simpson
Won with birdie on second extra hole
Jaeckel eliminated with par on first hole
21986Western OpenSouth Africa David Frost, United States Tom Kite, Zimbabwe Nick PriceKite won with birdie on first extra hole
31987Byron Nelson Golf ClassicUnited States Mark CalcavecchiaWon with par on third extra hole
41988Phoenix OpenScotland Sandy LyleLost to bogey on third extra hole
51992Nissan Los Angeles OpenUnited States Davis Love IIIWon with birdie on second extra hole
61992Honda ClassicUnited States Corey PavinLost to birdie on second extra hole
71993Honda ClassicUnited States Robert GamezWon with par on second extra hole
81994Mercedes ChampionshipUnited States Phil MickelsonLost to par on second extra hole
91998Bob Hope Chrysler ClassicUnited States Bruce LietzkeWon with birdie on first extra hole

European Tour wins (3)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (1)
Other European Tour (2)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
Runner-up
1Apr 12, 1992Masters Tournament69-67-69-70=275−132 strokesUnited States Raymond Floyd
2Jan 22, 1995Dubai Desert Classic65-69-68-66=268−203 strokesScotland Colin Montgomerie
3Jan 29, 1995Johnnie Walker Classic72-67-67-71=277−112 strokesZimbabwe Nick Price

Other wins (35)[edit]

Champions Tour wins (11)[edit]

Legend
Senior major championships (2)
Other Champions Tour (9)
No.DateTournamentWinning scoreTo parMargin
of victory
Runner(s)-up
1Feb 14, 2010The ACE Group Classic68-67-64=199−171 strokeUnited States Tommy Armour III
2Mar 7, 2010Toshiba Classic66-64-65=195−184 strokesUnited States Ronnie Black
3Mar 28, 2010Cap Cana Championship67-66-62=195−212 strokesUnited States Corey Pavin
4Oct 24, 2010Administaff Small Business Classic71-65-63=199−177 strokesUnited States Mark Wiebe
5Aug 20, 2011Senior Players Championship68-66-68-71=273−11PlayoffUnited States John Cook
6Oct 16, 2011AT&T Championship65-62-66=193−237 strokesUnited States Mark Calcavecchia
7Mar 25, 2012Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic63-70-69=202−141 strokeUnited States Michael Allen
8Jul 29, 2012The Senior Open Championship72-68-64-67=271−92 strokesUnited States Gary Hallberg
9Nov 3, 2013Charles Schwab Cup Championship65-65-68-69=267−176 strokesGermany Bernhard Langer, United States Mark O'Meara,
Australia Peter Senior
10Mar 16, 2014Toshiba Classic65-67-66=198−151 strokeGermany Bernhard Langer, Scotland Colin Montgomerie,
United States Steve Pate
11Aug 31, 2014Shaw Charity Classic68-66-61=195−15PlayoffUnited States Billy Andrade

Champions Tour playoff record (2–1)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
12010Senior PGA ChampionshipSouth Africa David Frost, United States Tom LehmanLehman won with par on first extra hole
22011Senior Players ChampionshipUnited States John CookWon with birdie on third extra hole
32014Shaw Charity ClassicUnited States Billy AndradeWon with birdie on first extra hole

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMargin
of victory
Runner-up
1992Masters Tournament1 shot deficit−13 (69-67-69-70=275)2 strokesUnited States Raymond Floyd

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament19791980198119821983198419851986198719881989
Masters TournamentDNPDNPDNPDNPT3210T10T31DNPT5T11
U.S. OpenT48 LADNPDNPCUTCUTT9T39DNPT46T10T21
The Open ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPT4DNPT46T40T4T6
PGA ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPT3T23T20T6T36CUTCUTCUT
Tournament1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
Masters Tournament5T351T21DNPT10T15T7T2T27
U.S. OpenCUTT3T17T16T16CUTDNPT52T53CUT
The Open ChampionshipT25T3CUTT9DNPDNPT7T7T66DNP
PGA Championship2T27T21T31T39T31T41T29T13T26
Tournament2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Masters TournamentT1126T36T28T6T39T3T30CUTCUT
U.S. OpenT16CUTDNPT66CUTT15T48DNPDNPDNP
The Open Championship6CUTDNPT46DNPT3CUTDNPDNPDNP
PGA ChampionshipCUTT37DNPT34DNPT70CUTDNPCUTT36
Tournament20102011201220132014
Masters Tournament6T15T12T13T20
U.S. OpenDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
The Open ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPT32DNP
PGA ChampionshipDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP

LA = Low amateur
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament111511193028
U.S. Open0011392316
The Open Championship00249101815
PGA Championship0112372519
Totals1251226459678

Senior major championships[edit]

Wins (2)[edit]

YearChampionship54 holesWinning scoreMargin
of victory
Runner-up
2011Senior Players Championship1 shot lead−11 (68-66-68-71=273)Playoff 1United States John Cook
2012The Senior Open Championship1 shot deficit−9 (72-68-64-67=271)2 strokesUnited States Gary Hallberg

1 Defeated John Cook in sudden-death playoff with birdie on the third extra hole.

Senior results timeline[edit]

Results not in chronological order before 2014.

Tournament20102011201220132014
The TraditionDNPT6342DQ
Senior PGA ChampionshipT2DNPT12DNPDNP
Senior Players ChampionshipWD1T4T2DNP
U.S. Senior Open2DNPT12T14DNP
The Senior Open ChampionshipDNPDNP1T21T13

DNP = Did not play
DQ = Disqualified
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Past Winners & Results". www.masters.org. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Couples to be inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame". World Golf Hall of Fame. September 19, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  3. ^ Kugiya, Hugo (July 20, 1997). "The Couples Conundrum – Now In His 17Th Year As A Pro, Fred Couples Returns Home For A Tournament, Seemingly Comfortable Finishing In The Middle Of The Pack". The Seattle Times. pp. 12–19. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Fred Couples". www.mahalo.com. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ "35 Pacific Northwest Croatian Athletes". Croatian Chronicle Network. February 7, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ Kugiya, Hugo (July 20, 1997). "The Couples Conundrum". Seattle Times. (Pacific Magazine). p. 12. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Kemper Open replay unlikely". The Courier (Prescott, Arizona). UPI. May 31, 1984. p. 13B. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Couples claims Kemper in sudden death". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida). June 6, 1983. p. 3D. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Couples, Pavin set for official Champions Tour debut". Champions Tour. January 8, 2010. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Bates Golf Group". Bates Golf Design Group. June 19, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ Van Sickle, Gary (June 11, 2001). "Notebook: Deborah Couples's Suicide – Unhappy Ending". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ http://www.seahawks.com/videos-photos/videos/12th-MAN-Flag-Raiser-Interview---Fred-Couples/3bbee939-b44c-4ecc-9f68-29963d55c5b9

External links[edit]