You’ve likely heard the phrase, “horses for courses.” For Fred Couples and Riviera Country Club, that is most certainly the case.
Couples is making his 32nd career start at the Northern Trust Open this week, and although he’s playing on a sponsor’s exemption and has been alive for north of 50 years, that doesn’t mean Couples couldn’t pull off an upset.
Couples, who currently stars on the Champions Tour, made his debut at Riviera in 1982. Tom Watson defeated Johnny Miller that year in a playoff. Couples finished T-13 along with a fellow named Gene Littler.
Feeling old yet?
This year, Couples is paired with his two captain’s picks from last year’s Presidents Cup: Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson. Simpson is 28 years old and was born three years after Couples made his first start at Riviera. Spieth, the 20 year-old PGA Tour sophomore, was born 16 months after Couples claimed his green jacket at the Masters in 1992.
“Boom-boom,” as Couples is often referenced, has an outstanding record at Riviera. He won the tournament twice in the early 90s and in 31 career starts there has 14 top-10 finishes. Possibly the only place where Couples feels more at home is Augusta National, where he will make his 30th career start this April. There, he has a win, a second, a third and 17 top-15 finishes, including a sixth in 2005 and four straight top-15 or better finishes in a row since turning 50.
Whether or not Couples factors into the decision on Sunday afternoon, it’s Fred’s party at Riviera.
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