Fred Couples elected to World Golf Hall of Fame

Fred Couples, shown here during the 2012 Masters Tournament, won at Augusta National in 1992. That victory helped him get into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Fred Couples, a former Masters Tournament champion and one of the most popular figures in the game, was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday.


Couples described himself as a good player, but not a great player, though he’s turned in some amazing performances.

Among his 15 wins on the PGA Tour are the 1992 Masters and two at The Players Championship, including an eagle-birdie-par finish in 1996. He played in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup five times each, and next year will be captain of the Presidents Cup for the third time. He was No. 1 in the world for four months in 1992.

“There are other people in the Hall of Fame that are maybe good players. But good is a good thing,” Couples said from Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. “I’ve been good at it for a long time, and I hope to continue to play a few more years.”

Couples was elected on the PGA Tour ballot with a record-low 51 percent. The minimum for election is 65 percent, although there is a clause that when no one gets the minimum, the leading vote-getter is elected provided he has at least 50 percent of the vote.

Vijay Singh was elected in 2005 with 56 percent.

RETURN TRIP: Lexi Thompson’s milestone no longer stands, but the memories endure from her victory at last year’s Navistar LPGA Classic.

Thompson begins play today at the Prattville, Ala., venue where she became the LPGA Tour’s youngest winner hoping to continue her recently improved play.

“It feels amazing to be back here,” Thompson said on Wednesday.

“It was a great experience, especially having my dad (Scott) on the bag caddying for me. I can’t even describe the feelings coming up the 18th hole, it was just so overwhelming just to experience all the fans cheering for me coming up 18.”

Then 16, she coasted to a five-stroke win at the suburban Montgomery course that is part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Lydia Ko, a 15-year-old amateur from New Zealand, broke her record in August in the Canadian Women’s Open.

Only three of the top 10 players are competing, headed by No. 1 Yani Tseng and No. 3 Stacy Lewis.

Many players are recovering from their return from the Women’s British Open.


Age: 52

PGA Tour starts: 602

Top-10 finishes on Tour: 162

Tour victories: 15

Majors won: 1 (1992 Masters Tournament)

Top-5s in majors: 12

Champions Tour victories: 8 (including 2012 Senior British Open)

International victories: 5