Riviera makes Couples dream big


LOS ANGELES – Riviera still makes Fred Couples dream big.

Couples, 52, feels as if he’s most capable of turning back the clock at Riviera in the Northern Trust Open. He still feels competitive against the young stars on this course.

“It’s my favorite tournament,” Couple said Wednesday. “I still feel like I can play here, and last year I had a great shot at winning.”

Couples thrives at Riviera with two wins here, three second-place finishes and 14 top-10 finishes.

Even with a rickety back bothering him last year, Couples was just one shot off the lead entering the final round at Riviera and took charge opening Sunday with three consecutive birdies. He faded, but it was a game try.

Last summer, Couples flew to Germany to undergo a blood augmenting procedure not approved in the United States. It’s the same procedure that has worked wonders for Vijay Singh.

With Singh in this week’s field, Couples said he’s eager to compare notes.

“I hope it lasts awhile,” Couple said of the relief the treatment brought him. “We’ll just see how it goes.”