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Fred Couples leads charge at Chubb Classic, shoots course record

Fred Couples knew he wasn’t a “79 shooter” as he put it, referring to one in all his final rounds of golf at the Masters final week.

Couples greater than beat that within the first spherical of the Chubb Classic on Friday, firing a course record, 9-under 63 on the Tiburón Golf Club Black Course.

“I had from last Friday to today to think about it, seven days to figure out, ‘Am I a 79 shooter or am I better than that?’ and today was a good day,” Couples stated.

Before the Masters, Couples got here down and labored with Sam Reeves at Seminole Golf Club on the state’s East Coast, and performed with a number of Tour gamers. Then he shot 79-78 at Augusta National.

“I got to Augusta and I just kind of froze on a few shots out there,” he stated. “All that practice didn’t pay off.

“But I can promise you today was a good day ball-striking, and I have practiced pretty hard, so it’s pay off today.”

Fred Couples stretches as he makes his solution to the 18th gap through the first day of the Chubb Classic, Friday, April 16, 2021, at the Tiburon Golf Club in North Naples. (Photo by Jon Austria/Naples Daily News USA TODAY)

Couples putted properly, draining a 30-footer on No. 7 after which following up with one other one from that size from off the inexperienced. And that was simply in the midst of 5 straight birdies that resulted in making the flip at 6 below. He added birdies on Nos. 11, 15 and 18, getting up and down from in entrance of the grandstand after going over the inexperienced on the par 5 No. 2.

“I think anytime I putt well and feel like I’m seeing the putts, I’m going to make a few,” he stated. “A lot of wedges, but I hit a lot of fairways. I don’t know if I hit every fairway, but I kept the ball in play, kept it below the hole, and like I say, the hole got big there for about a five-hole stretch, and I hit the ball solid all day. But hitting the fairways was huge.”

Couples stated he obtained fitted for a TaylorMade 3-wood and ended up utilizing that membership an excellent deal off the tee.

“I drew it, which gives me a little extra yardage, and I had a lot of 9s and wedges to these holes, but again, the 3-wood was key for me today,” he stated.

The World Golf Hall of Famer goes for his third victory in Naples, however the one participant with three of them is simply two strokes again.

Bernhard Langer shot a 7-under 65, and has gained 3 times in Naples and is simply 4 off Hale Irwin’s PGA Tour Champions record of 45 profession victories.

“It wasn’t a whole lot of stress on my round because I kept the ball in play,” Langer stated. “I think part of the key is to hit the fairways and miss all the shrubs and the lateral hazards and all that kind of stuff, which I did today. I drove it well. And then I hit a lot of greens. Didn’t have too much trouble getting it up-and-down.”

Part-time Naples resident Steve Stricker, who simply offered his home right here, performed with Couples and tried to comply with him up. He completed at 6 below, three again, together with Gene Sauers and Robert Karlsson.

Chubb Classic: 18 Golfers To Watch this week at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples

“I didn’t get off to a fast start by any means, so kind of saw Freddie playing well and kind of spurred me on to kick myself in the rear end and get going,” Stricker stated. “… He did everything well. He drove it in the fairway. He hit some really nice irons, and I actually putted really well. He made one from off the green on No. 8.”

And answered that he’s higher than a 79 shooter.

Greg Hardwig is a sports activities reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @NDN_Ghardwig, e mail him at [email protected]

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