Thursday, June 02, 2011

Couples Past Skin Scare, Limiting Champions Tour Play

  When Fred Couples went to a dermatologist last month to have a couple of moles examined at the request of his girlfriend, the moles they were worried about weren't a problem.

   But Couples wound up having 13 moles frozen off his hands, perhaps alleviating a potentially serious problem.

   "I don't think it's anything horrible, but at the time (the doctor) scared the hell out of me just by the way she looked at me and what she said," Couples said at a pre-tournament media session at The Memorial Tournament this week.

   "I don't wear sunscreen, but I just didn't have spots on my hands to figure that I needed 13 of them removed."

   After the marks were removed, Couples said he had blisters on his hands that were big enough he couldn't put his hands in his pockets. He's better now, good enough to play Muirfield Village this week in one of his rare PGA Tour appearances.

   "A couple people asked me if it was contagious and a few other things through the airport. It's pretty fun. I wish I could have put my hands in my pants so no one could have seen all this stuff. Thirteen blisters on your hands, you start to think people are looking at you like you've got something," Couples said.

   Couples also indicated he'll play sparingly on the Champions Tour this year because he's been bothered by back issues. His appearance at the Memorial coincided with a meeting of potential Presidents Cup team members. Couples is captain of the Presidents Cup team going to Australia later this year.

   "I haven't felt as good, so I've stayed away from playing the Champions Tour, because it doesn't serve me any justice to go play out there and finish 25th or 30th because I can't physically hit the ball," Couples said.

  "I continue to feel mediocre when I play, so that's why I'm not playing much on the Champions Tour. I really like the Champions Tour. This is just an odd year, and hopefully in the near future I'll start to feel better and hopefully play a little at the end of the year and it'll be a nice quiet year and I can come out at age 52 and start playing again on the Champions Tour again next year."