Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fred Couples: defined by cool, now also as a Hall of Famer

If you were to take a tour of Fred Couples' palatial residence near Los Angeles, you might deduce that he is a sports junkie. He owns framed jerseys from pals like George Brett, Dan Marino, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Steve Larmer and Nolan Ryan.

But, unless you know him, you would probably struggle to find clues as to what Couples lists as his occupation. Surely he didn't build this beautiful home by watching ballgames from the couch.
"The TV remote, I know where that is at all times," Couples says. "My trophies? They're in boxes. Not sure where exactly, but they're safe. I do have some things from Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, smaller things. You can see those. If you didn't, though, you would have no idea what I do. Some guy came over the other day and asked me if I was an entrepreneur. How about that? Me, an entrepreneur. He had no idea I'm a golfer. Which is fine."

Come next March, Freddie will secure another item for his non-existent trophy case. To tee off THE PLAYERS championship week, he will be inducted as a member of the Class of 2013 into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He won THE PLAYERS twice, in 1984 and 1996; he won the 1992 Masters; he won 15 PGA TOUR events; and at age 52, he's still winning.

"Surprised? Yeah," Couples says. "I had no idea I'd be voted into the Hall of Fame. I don't know how it works. Who votes? Have I been a great player? No. A good player, yeah. Did I get in because I'm 2-0 as a Presidents Cup captain? I don't think so, but I'm excited about it and really thrilled. I hope to play a few more years on the Champions Tour, but it's nice to be honored like this when I'm still alive and well. Do you vote?"

This is vintage Freddie, understated and easy going. He can recite last weekend's NFL scores and...