The nearly perfect run of Fred Couples

Except for the attention on a certain golfer's self-confessed sins, the Seattle golfer might be the sport's story of the year.
Except for the attention on a certain golfer's self-confessed sins, the Seattle golfer might be the sport's story of the year.

As the gossip world continues to turn seemingly on every new wag of the tale of Tiger Woods, those who belong to the more insular world of professional golf instead have been turning their attention to Fred Couples.

Sunday's Big Story from the privileged world of pro golf might merely have been the revelation about Seattle native Couples planning to play a round next week with the scorned Woods. Instead, Couples made Sunday become something that was all about Freddy. Shooting a seemingly effortless score of 10-under 62, he won his third of four starts on the Champions Tour, reserved as it is for players who never again will be 49 years old.

But for a close loss his first time out, Couples would be a perfect four on what was once called the Seniors Tour. Television commentators at the Sunday final round mused about the prospect of the 1992 Master'ꀙs champ having a good shot at being competitive again when the 2010 event commences April 8 in Augusta, Georgia.

Were it not for the obvious interest in Woods and his self-confessed transgressions, Couples would be pro golf's major story of the year, especially since the main part of the season hasn't even started yet. It's hard to project the pace of his success. Would winning three of the first four mean he's destined to win 75 percent of the remaining 22 events or would he win every 2010 champs tournament he enters?

If nothing else, success on the senior circuit seems to have buoyed Couples' confidence. His big tee shots invariably find fairways; his iron shots frequently stop on greens within birdie or eagle range. Better still, Couples is putting well enough to . . . win another Masters?

It seems improbable but no more so than what another Seattle geezer jock did last week. Ken Griffey Jr.'s nearly perfect walk-off grand-slam Friday (March 26) against his one-time Cincinnati team only could've been more fan-satisfying had it come with two outs instead of just one and if it had been during the post-season, say, as the ending to the seventh game of the World Series . . . the same year Fred Couples won the Masters at age 50.


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