Fred Couples is one of the most underrated players on the PGA Tour right now. It's true that he is one of the older players at 49, but he still has the attitude and play of a 29 year old when feeling good.
Fred will make his 24th Masters appearance in April. He's coming off a 2008 Masters that saw him not make the cut for the first time in his career. In recent years he hasn't finished all that bad, or all that well, with only two top ten Masters finishes since 2000. His last win Came at the ING par-3 shootout in 2006, and his last Tour win came in 2003 at the Shell Houston open when he just broke down and cried after a long journey back to the winners circle.
So what could make this year Fred's year? I think he just has a new presence about him that just radiates confidence. He's been battleing back problems for years now, but says it feels pretty good these days. He hasn't played for quite some time now, but that can only indicate that he is resting and preparing for the major. And he almost always saves his best play for the Masters.
Not can he still hit the ball as far as any of these young guys and make great shots, he has a fan base so large you would think he won nine or 10 majors. He has the respect of every player on the tour. Fred can still get the attention of big name sponsors.
Fred has been playing it low key and trying to stay under the radar for now. Until he is ready to unleash the Freddy of old, and show up all these young guns out there.
He's got the talent and experience to win another masters and I believe he has the heart to pull out another win, and become the oldest player to win a masters.
With his golfing days getting closer to being done, and the realization that this could be his last Masters, look for Fred to be at the top of that leader board contending for the win and once again being a Masters champion.