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Fred Couples – North West Athlete Spotlight

PGA Tour : Fred Couples

If you live in the Pacific Northwest and you’re a golf fan, Fred Couples needs no introduction.

Known for his silky-smooth swing and for being one of the true nice guys on Tour, the Seattle, Washington native has cemented his status as one of the game’s all-time greats.

Northwest Athlete Profiles: Fred Couples

Freddy came from humble beginnings in Seattle. His family lived near Jefferson Park golf course, where Couples perfected his trademark swing.

Reportedly, the loose style came from his desire to keep up with older kids’ distance off the tee.

He played at the University of Houston and turned pro in 1980. After getting his first win at the Kemper Open, in 1983, he never looked back. He may not live in the Northwest anymore but he’s reportedly still a huge Seahawks, Mariners and UW Huskies fan.

Couples has 15 PGA victories in total, including the 1992 Masters and the 1986 PLAYERS Championship.

The Pinnacle of Couples’ career came in 1991 and 1992, when he was named the Tour’s Player of the Year twice in a row. In 1992, he became the first American to hold the No. 1 position in the World Golf rankings since their 1986 inception.

He held off Raymond Floyd  to win the 1992 Masters and became the fastest player to $1 million in a single season at the time.

Couples’ long list of accomplishments also includes playing for the U.S. Ryder Cup team five times (1989, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997). Back problems have slowed the 51-year-old down in recent years; the 2003 Shell Houston Open yielded his only PGA victory in the last 13 seasons.

But Freddy has embarked on an exciting career epilogue as a dominant force on the Champions Tour.

Great timing as far as writing articles goes.

Fred won the 2011 Senior Tour Championship, his first Seniors Major championship title. The back was obviously feeling good enough to shoot low for four days.

He made an unbelievable debut in 2010, finishing second in his first tourney before winning three straight events to become the first senior ever to capture three of his first four tournaments.

His fourth win during his Rookie of the Year season put an exclamation mark on things, as he capped that feat with a 29 on the final nine holes.

Freddy’s best days may be behind him but you never know when he may pop up and contend in a major again.

He’s truly a golf treasure for the Emerald City, and the locals all hope he spends a lot more of his “golden years” back in the Great Northwest!

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