Sports and Scores
 
Golf
Leaderboard| Tee Times |Schedules and Scores|Statistics|Earnings|Tour:

Couples sinks birdie putt to win at Fallen Oak

(AP Photo/Press-Register, John David Mercer)

By DAVID BRANDT

AP Sports Writer

SAUCIER, Miss. (AP) Fred Couples looks like a man who is ready for another run at the Masters.

The 52-year-old made a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday to win the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, capping an impressive showing at the Champions Tour event just two weeks before his annual trip to Augusta.

"I want to go into (the Masters) after winning a tournament like this feeling some confidence and I did get a lot today," Couples said. "I hit a lot of good shots. I would say I've got a lot to work on, but if I can drive it like that, the course will be easier."

Couples made the tournament's outcome more interesting than he would have liked.

He easily navigated through the first 14 holes on Sunday with four birdies, no bogeys and no major trouble. But he surprisingly bogeyed the par-5 15th after a poor approach and chip shot, and carded another bogey on the par-3 17th before a flawless final hole salvaged the victory.

The 18th at Fallen Oak is the toughest-rated on the course, but Couples crushed his drive right down the middle of the fairway and used his sand wedge to clear a water hazard and stick the approach close to the hole.

His final putt was slightly downhill and he hit it perfectly. Couples admitted to getting "a little jumpy" down the stretch, but said he played well enough earlier in the round to give him a cushion.

"The bottom line is you get a lot of chances to win if you play well," Couples said.

Couples started the day tied for the lead with Jeff Sluman, but moved ahead with a birdie on the first hole. He led the rest of the day until the 17th, when his bogey dropped him into a tie with Michael Allen.

Allen admitted he was surprised to find himself that close to a playoff. He shot a 6 under 66 on Sunday.

"I don't get too caught up in it," Allen said. "That's one of the reasons I don't watch scoreboards - I don't need any extra anxiety. Just do what I do. Then all of a sudden (on 18) I'm like, do I have to think of a speech?"

That wasn't necessary, thanks to Couples' clutch putt.

He shot a 3 under 69 in the final round to win $240,000. It is his seventh career victory on the Champions Tour and first this season.

Couples finished at 14 under for the tournament. Allen finished one stroke behind, and Sluman and Tom Pernice Jr. finished tied for third at 10 under.

Couples now prepares for a few weeks on the PGA Tour. He's scheduled to play in the Houston Open next week and will then head to the Masters, where he's had plenty of recent success, with top-15 finishes the past two years. He won in 1992 and has 10 career top 10s.

Fallen Oak has some similarities to Augusta because of the southern location and lush landscape, and it became a much tougher golf course as the weekend progressed.

The Gulf Coast was soaked by more than nine inches of rain earlier in the week, which led to very soft conditions during Friday's opening round. It left the course vulnerable to low scores, including Couples' course-record 9-under 63.

But sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s dried the course quickly by Sunday, making for faster greens. Factor in a swirling wind and more difficult pin positions and birdies were harder to find.

Follow David Brandt on Twitter: (at)davidbrandtAP

Updated March 25, 2012

? © 2015 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Audio On Demand

It Is What It Is Cast: Wh…

It Is What It Is Cast: Why Patriots are happy with their 2015 draft class

FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price wrap up how the Patriots fared in the 2015 NFL draft and what they accomplished.

It Is What It Is Cast: Explaining Patriots' picks of Jordan Richards, Geneo Grissom on Day 2

Breaking down Patriots' Malcom Brown selection

WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Ryan Hannable discuss the selection of 6-foot-2, 320-pound defensive lineman Malcom Brown out of the University of Texas by the Patriots with the 32nd overall pick Thursday night and where the Patriots might go to fill needs in Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday.

Dickerson and Tomase disc…

Dickerson and Tomase discuss the Celtics and their upcoming playoff series against the Cavs 4-19-15

Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?

Brian Scalabrine: I am the biggest Marcus Smart fan. 4-2-15

Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.

We Love Anthony Davis - Celtics Playoff Push, 3-25-15

Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.

Larry Lucchino on the Sox…

Larry Lucchino on the Sox pitching woes 4-30-15

Larry joined the guys to discuss the Sox pitching issues and his role in Boston 2024.

Hanley Ramirez Player of the Game Interview

Joe and Dave talk with Hanley Ramirez about the Red Sox beating the Blue Jays tonight behind another home run from him. They talk about how good he's been hitting breaking pitches and the way the team bounced back after the loss yesterday.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell with Dale and Holley

Live from Fenway, Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton speak with Red Sox Manager John Farrell about just how bad his pitching staff has been.

Fluto Shinzawa, NHL repor…

Fluto Shinzawa, NHL reporter for the Boston Globe, joins the Sunday Skate crew to discuss the future of the Bruins franchise 4-19-15

The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.

Sunday Skate with DJ Bean, Naoko Funayama and Pete Blackburn - HOUR #2 - 4-19-15

In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!

Sunday Skate with DJ Bean, Naoko Funayama and Pete Blackburn - HOUR #1 - 4-19-15

DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.

Michael Wilbon Floyd Mayw…

Michael Wilbon Floyd Mayweather 5-4-15

Gerry, Kirk and Glenn spoke with Michael Wilbon.

Red Sox starting pitchers are awful 5-4-15

The guys discussed the Sox dismal starting pitching.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Tiger is single again 5-4-15

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Tom E Curran, CSNNE, brea…

Tom E Curran, CSNNE, breaks down the Patriots draft, 5-4-15

Tom E Curran joined the show to talk about the possible approach that the Patriots had when the decided to go heavy on front 7 guys and not draft a CB until the 7th round.

Red Sox swept by Yankees, 5-4-15

Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees came to Fenway and swept the struggling Red Sox.

Roger Goodell's mispronunciation and other NFL Draft Thouoghts 5-1-2015

The guys discuss how Roger Goodell messed up Marcus Mariota's name and Suzy Kolber asking corny questions to the players drafted.

Grading out day one of th…

Grading out day one of the NFL Draft with ESPN's Field Yates

We discuss the draft with the talented Field Yates of ESPN and ESPN Boston.

Discussing the draft with Dale and Holley

We talk NFL draft after day one landed the Patriots Texas defensive tackle Malcom Smith.

Moral Debate: Does watching or attending this fight mean you support Floyd Mayweather?

Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the supposed moral implications of watching or supporting this fight that includes noted woman beater Floyd Mayweather.

The Mikey Adams Show 4-20…

The Mikey Adams Show 4-20 Edition with Lenny Megs & Erin the Textress on Patriots Day

Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.

The Planet Mikey Show Monday 4-13 Sox Home Opener and Season Ender

Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.

Chris Price joins Mike Mutnansky

Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season

SoccerCast - Revs/MLS

SoccerCast - Revs/MLS

Ben and Russ preview Revs vs Red Bulls, talk about the state of the MLS, and discuss the latest rumors and gossip.

UnsportsManLike Podcast - Superhero Movies

In honor of the release of "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Jerry and his pal Adam "Uncle Buck" Cormack discuss the Golden Age of the Superhero Movie, why the genre is so popular and count down their all time favorite superhero films.

Fantasy Football Podcast NFL Draft Edition 4 – Day 1 Recap:

The NFL has welcomed 32 new players into the league as of last night and there are many implications for Fantasy Football this season. Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson of Rotobahn.com get into who was picked, where they landed and how the impacts the 2015 Fantasy Football landscape. Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper and Kevin White top the list of 10 skill position players taken in Round 1 and Jim and Pete have plenty of analysis and opinion to bridge the gap before Round 2 starts. Enjoy!

NFL SUNDAY - Recapping th…

NFL SUNDAY - Recapping the Patriots 2015 NFL Draft Hour 1, 5-3-15

Greg Dickerson and Chris Price break down the picks the Patriots made over the weekend, and take a phone call from WEEI's Mike Petraglia to learn what Coach Belichick had to say.

More from this show

Grading out day one of th…

Grading out day one of the NFL Draft with ESPN's Field Yates

We discuss the draft with the talented Field Yates of ESPN and ESPN Boston.

More from this show

NFL SUNDAY - Greg and Chr…

NFL SUNDAY - Greg and Chris continue breaking down the Pats Draft Hour 2, 5-3-15

Greg and Chris talk about the 2015 NFL Draft and take a call from CSNNE's Tom E. Curran.

More from this show

Discussing the draft with…

Discussing the draft with Dale and Holley

We talk NFL draft after day one landed the Patriots Texas defensive tackle Malcom Smith.

More from this show

Floyd Mayweather wins the…

Floyd Mayweather wins the most boring fight of all time 5-4-15

Gerry, Kirk and Glenn discussed the Mayweather fight.

More from this show

Weei Writers