Couples Looks for Houston Double

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Each PGA Tour event has its defining moment. Sometimes its a drive; sometimes an approach; sometimes a putt.
 
Sometimes it comes after the events conclusion.
 
Such was the case at last seasons Shell Houston Open, when local favorite Fred Couples lost his composure after claiming his first tour title in five years.
 
I mumbled a few things, then basically wanted to get out of there, Couples said of his tear-filled attempt to speak to CBS Peter Kostis immediately following his four-stroke victory.
 
I needed to regroup a little bit.
 
The victory was more than just the end to a half-decade winless drought; it was the culmination of dedication and hard work ' a Return to the Range.
 
Couples beat balls for six hours, under the watchful eye of Butch Harmon, at the 2003 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
 
He also went to Carlsbad, Calif., during the WGC-Match Play Championship, and worked with Harmon at the TaylorMade test center ' even though he wasnt in the Match Play field.
 
Those increased practice sessions paid off handsomely outside of Houston in the form of his 15th career tour victory.
 
To make the experience even more special, he became the first former University of Houston Cougar to win the tournament.
 
Last years event was contested at the Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas, after an 18-year run at the TPC at The Woodlands.
 
Redstone, a par-72, 7,508-yard Peter Jacobsen-design, will again play host to the 156-man field. Its the fourth longest course played on tour this season. Castle Pines, home to the International, measures 7,594 yards; Whistling Straights, which will host the PGA Championship, plays 7,590 yards; the South Course at the Buick Invitational stretches out to 7,568 yards.
 
Vijay Singh, the 2002 winner at The Woodlands, will be in attendance. He is looking for his second Houston title, and his second win of the season. Singh won at Pebble Beach, marking his 12th consecutive top-10 finish, dating back to last season.
 
His tie for sixth two weeks ago at Augusta, however, was his first top-10 since leaving the Monterey Peninsula.
 
Hal Sutton is also back, trying to win on tour for the first time since capturing the 2001 Houston Open.
 
While Suttons fellow Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer has shown top form on the course, the American leader hasnt had to answer questions as to whether or not he should forgo his captaincy should he make the team as a player.
 
Sutton has missed six of eight cuts this season, including four in a row.
 
This is the 57th playing of this event. Byron Nelson was the inaugural champion, in 1946.
 
Seven players have won on multiple occasions; Curtis Strange is the only three-time winner (1980, 86, 88). No one has ever successfully defended their title, however.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Shell Houston Open