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Tagged: Champions Tour, Chubb Classic, Fred Couples, Steve Stricker
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Fred Couples began the 2021 Chubb Classic with a blistering 9-under 63 to take a two shot lead over his fellow Champions Tour competitors. A two-time winner of the Chubb Classic, it looked as though Couples was poised to take his third title, and I had little doubt he would. After a second round 69, Couples entered the final round tied for the lead with Robert Karlsson. However, 5-time Champions Tour winner, and this year’s Ryder Cup Captain for the American squad, Steve Stricker came out of the gate hot, birdying three holes on the front nine to get to-14, two ahead of Couples, who shot even on the front. It looked as though Couples was cooked, but the putter came alive for him, as he made birdies on the 11th and 14th holes, as well as a beautiful par save on the 12th hole. It was the best putting display I had seen from Couples in a long time. However, just as it looked as though Couples was going to catch Stricker, he promptly drove his ball dead right on the reachable par 5 15th hole, and was forced to take an unplayable, eventually making bogey. That was it for Couples, as Stricker went on to birdie the 16th hole on his way to victory. Couples has not win on the Champions Tour since 2017, while he has come close a few times, he hasn’t been able to seal the deal. Perhaps the worst example came in 2019, when Couples squandered a four shot lead going into the final round of the Boeing Classic, shooting 76 on Sunday to finish tied for third. It’s been a tough few years for Freddie, and although this loss is disappointing, Couples did put on a phenomenal putting display on the back nine, and I’m sure he will get himself back into the winners circle soon enough.