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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
Golf

He's hometown, tourney favorite

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 10:31 AM
SAMMAMISH, Wash. -

Fred Couples walked off the 12th green Wednesday leaving caddie Joe LaCava holding a putter that wasn't to be used on this hole.

There was a gallery waiting and autographs to sign, a scenario that plays out during nearly every momentary break Couples gets at Sahalee Country Club.

Consider it the price of coming home.

"I've been signing more autographs than paying any attention to the golf course," he said.

Couples arrived at the U.S. Senior Open this week as a tournament favorite and a hometown hero. The Seattle native is trying for his first USGA title at any level, playing just 20 miles from the Seattle public course where he learned the game growing up.

He hasn't lived in Seattle for decades. Yet the region still considers Couples its own.

"To win here, it would rank right up there as any other tournaments probably besides Augusta," Couples said. "This is just like a U.S. Open; no one's going to tell me any differently. It's very tough out there. So to win here would be, you know, like winning a U.S. Open."

Couples has won three times this year on the 50-and-over circuit and finished second twice.

Creamer shooting for back-to-back majors

SOUTHPORT, England - After struggling for years to win a major, Paula Creamer is aiming to make it two in a row at the Women's British Open, which starts today at Royal Birkdale.

Creamer shed the title of being the best women's golfer to not win a major with her U.S. Women's Open at Oakmont this month. Now she hopes the momentum will put her right back on top of the leaderboard at Birkdale.

"I know now what it takes to win a major and I've been waiting to do that for a very long time," Creamer said. "I feel very confident coming into this event and I know what I need to do."

Creamer played her first Women's British Open when it was last held at Birkdale in 2005, finishing 15th. That tournament was plagued by miserable weather, and Creamer said she won't mind more of the same this time.

"I enjoy links golf, I always have," she said. "It's a nice change to come out, put your five layers on and play in your rain gear. It makes golf a little bit more interesting."

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