Fred Couples speaks of 'unreal' Tiger Woods

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Fred Couples enjoyed the company of Tiger Woods on Augusta’s back nine this morning and did nothing to calm the hype about the 14-time major winner's comeback.

The 1992 Masters champion said Woods was "hitting it really flush" during a surprise Tuesday morning practice round with Phil Mickelson and Thomas Pieters.

“The sound of the ball is unreal. He’s enjoying and playing great. He’s part of it. He’s driving it really well and he feels really good. It’s not surprising. He’s been around,” said Couples. “Tiger’s tiger and he’s hitting it a long way. He’s hitting it really flush, hitting it really good.”

Couples is regarded as being fairly close to Tiger but said he’d never really talked about Tiger’s injuries with him, perhaps mentioning his back problems “maybe a couple of times” but nothing more. “We always talk golf and how his kids are doing. I hope his back lasts a long long time. It’s not as easy thing. It’s the main thing in the golf swing, unless you hurt your wrist or your thumb.”

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The announcement late last night that Woods and Mickelson were to play a practice round together caught everyone by surprise – and Couples said that might not have happened if Woods had stopped winning majors ten years ago.

“Six or eight years ago, they’re different people on the course. If Tiger had kept winning majors maybe they might not have played today. “They’ve never really disliked each other but they’re not best of friends. They just want to beat each other. If you take away Tiger Woods, Phil’s got 10 or 12 majors. Now they’re coming together just for a few years. Come Sunday, they might be paired together. They love the course, and they’re gonna do very well.”

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