Fred Couples reminds us often that he is the Yogi Berra of his era.
Latest example: His comments after being named an ambassador for the Northern Trust Open. Now Couples’ passion for Riviera is well documented – he’s played there annually since about the time hickory gave way to steel – but he concedes that many will see his job as selling the trip to Riviera to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Wait a minute. Woods we understand, because Tiger has played there just nine times as a pro and not since 2007. But Lefty? “Phil didn’t play here much,” said Couples. Not sure where that comes from, because the record shows Mickelson has played 15 times in the tournament, 13 at Riviera, with two wins and twice reaching playoffs he lost.
Mickelson, who turned pro in 1992, agonized over his decision to skip this year’s show at Riviera, but his family faces two consecutive weeks of school vacation now that his three children are at different schools. Lefty missed Northern Trust and will not be in attendance for the Match Play, but he’ll return to play in next week’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., then in the following week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at the new Doral.