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Sat Apr 19 20:11:30 SAST 2014

Couples voted into Hall of Fame

Reuters | 20 September, 2012 07:350 Comments
The Senior Open Championship - Day Three
Fred Couples of the United States in action during the third round of the Senior Open Championship played over the Ailsa Course, on July 28, 2012 in Turnberry, United Kingdom
Image by: Phil Inglis / Getty Images

Former Masters champion Fred Couples, a 15-times winner on the PGA Tour who is one of the most laid-back figures in the game, has been voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2013.

The 52-year-old American, whose selection in the Hall of Fame’s PGA Tour category was announced on Wednesday, will be inducted on May 6 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida.

  “What a great day for me,” former world number one Couples told reporters at East Lake Golf Club on the eve of this week’s Tour Championship. “I guess I won a popularity vote here,” he added with a grin.

  “For me, it’s truly an honour. I hope a lot of people — I don’t want to say respect my game — but understand that to be in the Hall of Fame you’ve got to be a very, very good player.

  “I don’t consider myself to be a great player, but I think I’ve been a very good player. I’ve played great at times.”

 Couples, who is known for his languid swing and his prodigious length off the tee which earned him the nickname

’Boom Boom’, won his only major title at the 1992 Masters.

  The first American player to reach number one in the official world rankings, he also clinched the prestigious Players Championship in 1984 and 1996, an event widely regarded as the unofficial fifth major.

  A veteran of five Ryder Cups, Couples captained the triumphant US Presidents Cup teams in 2009 and 2011. He also has eight wins on the Champions Tour for players aged over 50.

  “Fred Couples is one of those unique players whose talent and accomplishments are Hall-of-Fame calibre, as are his personality and popularity,” said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.

  “He has been a fan favourite for decades, thanks to not only his significant achievements on the golf course, but also because of his relatable, friendly demeanour that has connected him to fans around the world.”

 The Hall of Fame will round out the Class of 2013 by announcing inductees from the international ballot and both the veterans and lifetime achievement categories in the coming months.

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