AUSTRALIAN OPEN bound Fred Couples has shown some serious form with a tear-away win in the lastest US Champions Tour event.
Couples was two strokes behind US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin after 10 holes in the final round of the Administaff Small Business Classic in Texas and then scorched the final eight holes in seven under.
He made and eagle – his second of the round – and five birdies to finish seven strokes clear of the field.
“I don’t know if I putted like that on the PGA Tour, ever,” Couples said of his 24 putt round. “I used to putt well and once you hit your mid-40s, every putt is important.”
Couples, who will be one of the star attractions when the Australian Open gets underway at The Lakes in Sydney in just over five weeks, finished at 17-under 199 on The Woodlands Country Club course and earned US$255,000 for his fourth Champions Tour victory of the year.
Mark Wiebe (71) was second, Dan Forsman (66) and Brad Bryant (66) followed at 9 under, and Pavin (74) and John Cook (67) tied for fifth at 8 under.
“I feel like I got lapped,” second placed Wiebe retorted. “If this was a car race, I feel Fred would have had two laps on me.”
Couples was in his usual laid back form: “”I hit the ball very, very well, and I made a lot of putts, and all that stuff added up to 63,” he said shaking his head. “It was not you know, there wasn’t a lot of stress, you know.”
Fourteen times US PGA Tour winner Kenny Perry got a rude shock at his first outing on the over 50’s circuit closing with a 70 to finish tied for 35th.
Australia’s Peter Senior put together three solid rounds of 72, 71, 72 to finish at one under for the tournament and T24.
At 17th on the money list, Senior has already secured his place on the tour for next year.
The Champions Tour moves to San Antonio this week for the AT&T Championship.