In the world of golf, the comeback story of the year may well be the Champions Tour. Attendance is up as are the TV ratings. Most of this success can be attributed to one man, who coincidently recently turned 50 and has taken the Champions Tour by storm. All Fred Couples did to begin his Champions Tour career in January was to finish in second place and then go on to win his next three starts. Given Fred’s immense popularity anyway this start has been a huge boost to the Champions Tour and golf in general.
FRED COUPLES Player Stats
PGA TOUR Victories
(15) 1983 Kemper Open. 1984 Tournament Players Championship. 1987 Byron Nelson Golf Classic. 1990 Nissan Los Angeles Open. 1991 Federal Express St. Jude Classic, B.C. Open. 1992 Nissan Los Angeles Open, Nestle Invitational, Masters Tournament. 1993 Honda Classic. 1994 Buick Open. 1996 THE PLAYERS Championship. 1998 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, Memorial Tournament. 2003 Shell Houston Open.
Champions Tour Victories
(3) 2010 The ACE Group Classic, Toshiba Classic, The Cap Cana Championship.
(5): 1991 Johnnie Walker World Championship. 1994 World Cup [indiv]. 1995 Dubai Desert Classic [Eur], Johnnie Walker Classic [Eur], Johnnie Walker World Championship [Eur].
(26): 1983 JC Penney Classic [with Jan Stephenson]. 1990 Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout [with Raymond Floyd], Sazale Classic, RMCC Invitational. 1992 World Cup [with Davis Love III]. 1993 Telus Skins Game, World Cup [with Davis Love III], Dunhill Cup [with John Daly and Payne Stewart]. 1994 Telus Skins Game, Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout [with Brad Faxon], World Cup [with Davis Love III]. 1995 Skins Game, World Cup [with Davis Love III]. 1996 Telus Skins Game, Skins Game. 1998 Telus Skins Game. 1999 Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout [with David Duval], Skins Game. 2000 Telus Skins Game. 2001 Hyundai Team Matches [with Mark Calcavecchia]. 2003 Skins Game, Tylenol Par-3 Shootout at Treetops Resort. 2004 Skins Game, Tylenol Par-3 Shootout at Treetops Resort. 2006 ING Par-3 Shootout.
2010 PGA TOUR & Champions Tour Money and Position
PGA TOUR: $397,406 (121) Champions Tour: $1,260,852 (1)
2010 PGA TOUR Highlights
Couples made two starts on the PGA TOUR. Posted a T14 finish at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, thanks to successive weekend rounds in the 60s. Was T37 at the PGA TOUR's Northern Trust Open near Los Angeles...Won three times on the Champions Tour in his first four starts. Captured The ACE Group Classic in Naples, FL; the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, CA; and The Cap Cana Championship in the Dominican Republic for a third consecutive win. Carded a Punta Espada GC course-record 10-under 62 on the final day to overtake Corey Pavin Pavin. Round matched his career-best on the PGA TOUR (1990 Nissan Los Angeles Open/third round) and included birdies on six of the last eight holes. Also finished second in his first official Champions Tour appearance at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai when Tom Watson birdied the last two holes to nip him by a stroke...Named as Presidents Cup Captain for the United States Team at the 2011 Presidents Cup in Australia, repeating as captain from 2009. Greg Norman will lead the International Team again...Shot a 66 to take the first-round lead at the Masters before finishing sixth. The first-round 66 was the best round of his career at Augusta National. His previous best score at the Masters was a 67, which he recorded four times. One of his four 67s at the Masters came in 1992 when won his only Green Jacket. His only first-round lead in a major was at the 1998 Masters (T2)...Made double bogey on the first playoff hole at the Senior PGA Championship in late May to finish T2 along with David Frost, behind winner Tom Lehman.
2010 Champions Tour Highlights
Couples won his first Champions Tour title in just his second career start when he held off a furious, final-round charge by Tommy Armour III (Sunday 61) to claim The ACE Group Classic in Naples. Led by as many as seven strokes early in the final round before Armour's move earned him a share of the lead with a birdie at No. 17. However, Couples regained the lead moments later with a birdie at the same hole and then two-putted for par at No. 18 to post an 8-under-par 64 and win by one stroke. Win in Naples allowed him to join Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Gil Morgan and Miller Barber as players who were victorious in their second Champions Tour appearance...Captured his second victory in his next start when he rolled to a four-stroke win at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach. Following a second-round 64, led by two strokes after 36 holes and then closed with a 6-under-par 65 to finish four better than Ronnie Black...Made Champions Tour history with a two-stroke victory over Corey Pavin at The Cap Cana Championship. Became the first player to win three of his first four career starts and also became the first player since Jay Haas in 2006 to win three consecutive Champions Tour starts. Also became the first player in Champions Tour history to win three consecutive events with sub-200 totals. Carded a Punta Espada GC course-record 10-under 62 on the final day to overtake Pavin. Round matched his career-best on the PGA TOUR (1990 Nissan Los Angeles Open/third round) and included birdies on six of the last eight holes. His 62 was the lowest finish by a winner since Bobby Wadkins' 62 in the last round of the 2006 Boeing Championship at Sandestin...Fell short in his quest for a fourth consecutive title when he finished T12 at the rain-shortened Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am near Tampa. Streak of rounds in the 60s ended at 12 straight, one short of Hale Irwin's all-time record, when he carded an even-par 71 in the first round. Second-round 67 moved him up the standings but could not improve his position Sunday after the final round was washed out by heavy morning rains...Teamed with Jay Haas to finish T4 the next week at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in Savannah. Earned $83,750 with his finish. pushing him over the $1-million mark in season earnings in just his sixth event. That made him the fastest to one million in a season, breaking the all-time record of eight events set in 1998 by Hale Irwin and matched in 2006 by Loren Roberts...Was a cumulative 81-under-par in his first five stroke-play events on the Champions Tour...Finished second in his first official Champions Tour appearance at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai when Watson birdied the last two holes to nip him by a stroke. Looked to be in the driver's seat after making birdie at No. 16 Sunday but pars at the last two holes, including a missed 10-foot birdie putt at No. 18, proved to be his undoing. Made just one bogey in the tournament and his 8-under 64 Sunday equaled the best final-round score in his TOUR career. His 21-under-par 195 total matched the second-lowest score ever posted on the Champions Tour that did not win (Allen Doyle, 2001 Gold Rush Classic)...Was the 36-hole leader at the Senior PGA Championship, and despite a third-round 75, joined David Frost and eventual winner Tom Lehman in a playoff. Helped his own cause with consecutive eagles on Nos. 15 and 16, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat since Denis Watson at the 2008 FedEx Kinkos Classic in Austin. However, saw his chances evaporate on the first playoff hole when he hit his tee shot into a bush and was forced to take an unplayable lie, which eventually led to the double bogey...Debuted on the Champions Tour at the Wendy's Champions Skins Game at Royal Kaanapali GC on Maui in Hawaii. Teamed with Nick Price to finish third in the event, garnering three skins and $190,000...Earned Player of the Month honors on the Champions Tour for January/February and also March...Was the first-round leader at the Masters after firing a 6-under 66 Thursday and trailed by just two strokes at the turn Sunday. Even after finding the water with his tee shot on the par-3 12th hole, he played his last six holes in 3-under and finished sixth, the highest Masters finish by a player over age 50...On the PGA TOUR, also posted a T14 finish at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, thanks to successive weekend rounds in the 60s...Was slated to make his 27th start in The PLAYERS Championship in May but had to withdraw prior to the start of the event due to back problems.