Couples wins AT&T Championship by seven, biggest margin of victory

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Fred Couples carded rounds of 65, 62 and 66 to finish at 23 under on TPC San Antonio's AT&T Canyons Course.
Associated Press

Series: Champions Tour

Published: Sunday, October 16, 2011 | 6:58 p.m.

Fred Couples ran away with the Champions Tour's AT&T Championship, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 66 on Sunday for a seven-stroke victory -- the largest margin on the 50-and-over tour this year.

Couples opened with rounds of 65 and 62 and finished at 23 under on TPC San Antonio's Canyons Course. He won for the second time this season and sixth time in two seasons on the tour.


The AT&T Championship is the final full-field event before the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in three weeks.

Mark Calcavecchia shot a 66 to finish second. Charles Schwab Cup points leader Tom Lehman and John Cook tied for third at 14 under. They also closed with 66s.

The closest anyone came in the final round was four strokes when Calcavecchia holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole, but Couples birdied five of the last eight holes, including the final two. Last year at The Woodlands outside Houston, he also had a seven-stroke victory.

Couples' 54-hole total of 193 broke the tournament record of 195 set by Mark McNulty in 2005 on the par-71 Oak Hills Country Club course.

Couples earned $270,000, giving him $957,753 in nine starts on the Champions Tour this year. He's the U.S. captain for the Presidents Cup next month in Australia.

Couples birdied the first three holes to start each of the opening two rounds. On Sunday, he parred the first five holes. His first birdie came on the par-5 sixth, but Calcavecchia matched it to stay six back.

Calcavecchia, second in the Schwab Cup standings, made it a bit interesting. After Couples lipped out a birdie putt from about 5 feet on the seventh, Calcavecchia stuck his tee shot on the par-3 eighth to 10 feet and sank the putt. And his 12-footer on No. 10 cut Couples' lead to four.

Calcavecchia left a birdie putt on the edge on No. 11 from 15 feet, and Couples made his from 8 to get the lead back to five. He holed a 10-footer No. 12 to go to 20 under and six ahead.

It was the final full field on the Champions Tour. The top 30 in the point standings are headed to the Charles Schwab Cup on Nov. 3-6 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.



It was the very first time that me, my daughter and my grandson have ever went to a tournament. We enjoyed it very much except for the last 2 groups on the 18th hole. We sat down by the hole so my grandson who is in a wheelchair could see the golfers up close on Sunday. But when it came to the last 2 groups the golf channel TV camera crews planted themselves right infront of him and my daughter and me, so we didn't get to see the players putt. We had been there all day inorder to see Fred Couples especially but we didn't even get to see him putt the birdie at the end. We were really disappointed. I wish you would have a talk with the TV crews about standing infront of people with wheelchairs for they can not stand up to see. Other than that the players were nice in the other groups who took their time to see him and some gave him golf balls which he really liked. Hopefully in the future we can go to other tournaments and have a complete experience without camera crews blocking his view.