Fred Couples relishing defence of Senior Open title at Royal Birkdale
Fred Couples says he'll need to play more great golf if he's going to win a second successive Senior Open title.
Last Updated: 25/07/13 8:09am
The American, now 53, took victory at Turnberry last year thanks to back-to-back birdies on the final two holes and is hoping he can pull off a repeat performance on the Lancashire links.
He said: "It was a big deal last year. I skipped the Senior Open my first year (of eligibility) and came last year and won.
"As an American, when we were younger we all came over here.
"Mark O'Meara won here (at Birkdale), Mark Calcavecchia won at Troon and Tom Watson, obviously he's a little older, he's won everywhere.
"But for me I always wanted to win this tournament and I think it was very special, even though it was the Senior Open, winning at Turnberry which I consider a really great test of golf.
"Whether you win the junior championship, the regular Open or the Senior Open you have to play great golf and I felt like that's what I did and it'll be no different here at Birkdale.
"The Senior Open has a lot going for it, it has great players in it and we're playing great golf courses with huge history and I love that part of it."
Couples warmed up for his defence by finishing a very creditable tied 32nd at Muirfield last week but expects conditions to be very different at Royal Birkdale.
"Last week was like concrete. Every shot you hit rolled forever. I don't think many of us have played golf like that before.
"Here, it's rained, it's pretty green, the greens are receptive so it's pretty different. I think we're going to try and fly the ball onto the greens and stop them which is unlike last week and I'll have to mentally get out of my mind that I was hitting eight-irons from 210 (yards). Now I'm going to be hitting five and six irons."