Fred Couples on His 60: “I think it’s the best round I’ve ever played.”

Fred Couples, SAS Championship,(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Fred Couples, SAS Championship,(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

Many people marvel at the skill of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and others.  But in his prime, and even today, Fred Couples remains every bit as exciting a talent as anyone who ever played golf.

Now at age 63, he just shot his lowest competitive round ever, a 60, to win the SAS Championship. The course was playing a little over 7200 yards.

“I think it’s the best round I’ve ever played,” Fred Couples said to media after he finished.

It was reminiscent of some of the low rounds he shot at Riviera CC where his drives were in the fairway or close enough to it and where his second shots landed within eight feet or less of the hole. Then it was a matter of how many putts he could roll in.

When it comes to low rounds, Fred Couples is kind of an expert.

He may believe the 60 to be the best round he ever played, but it has a lot of company.  When it comes to low rounds, Couples is kind of an expert.

“I’ve shot 58 and 59 before, never in a tournament, but for a little bit of money and stuff and you pay a lot of attention,” he said about the low score.

On the regular tour, he was a force to be feared. He posted a 62 on his way to victory in the LA Open in 1990.   A 63 on the way to winning at Bay Hill, Arnold Palmer’s tournament. A 64 on the way to victory in each of his Players titles, as well as at his second LA Open, the Byron Nelson, the Honda Classic, and the Bob Hope.

Fred Couples, SAS Championship, PGA Tour Champions, Golf

That’s just the regular tour and just the times when a low score was a part of a victory. He may have gone low and not won, but it would probably take a week to figure that out. Couples played regularly on the PGA Tour from 1981 until 2010 when he became a member of PGA Tour Champions.  Even after that, he continued to play a handful of regular Tour events, particularly the LA Open, now the Genesis Invitational.

Once he turned 50, out on the PGA Tour Champions, he went even lower than he had on the regular tour, not just once, but several times.

Couples posted a 61 at Shaw, 62s at AT&T and Cap Cana, 63s at Mississippi Gulf Coast and Administaff, and 64 at ACE and Toshiba.

Now, at age 63, he’s gone even lower with a 60.  The miraculous thing is that Couples does it without being able to practice much, and often going for months at a time not being able to hit a golf ball because he can’t.  His legendary back problems sometimes sideline him.  He never knows when it’s going to happen, and never knows how long it will last. This year, he said, he only played eight tournaments.

"“This year my back was so bad, I really couldn’t even play until Augusta, and I probably shouldn’t have played there,”"

Fred Couples said after winning. He would probably play the Masters if he had to crawl around the course.

"“I heard someone just say a little while ago, that my game on the Champions Tour is trending in the right direction and I like where it’s going.”"

What was particularly interesting about his scores and the victory is that he had a driver modification before the tournament started.

His driver, to his surprise, was a D6.5, and he had no idea how it got that heavy.  Technicians on site dropped it down to a D3.

“I went on the range, and I hit it, and I was pounding it and that gave me a lot of confidence,” he explained about the driver fix.

Some people would keep playing after a victory, but Couples said he is done for the year.  For now, he’s going to pay attention to baseball.

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“I was building to going to Dodger games and going to Seattle for a Mariners game, but now I’m going to possibly go to the Padres and watch them play,” he noted.

Unfortunately, his game is trending as the year ends and as his season ends.

As far as his golf schedule, he said he is taking the rest of October off.

“I’ll gradually start hitting a few in November, December,” he said.  The back permitting.