British Senior Open 2012: Fred Couples Surges to Win After Week off

Joe VersageCorrespondent IIJuly 29, 2012

TURNBERRY, SCOTLAND - JULY 29:  Fred Couples of the United States with the Senior Open Claret Jug after winning  the Senior Open Championship played over the Ailsa course at Turnberry on July 29, 2012 in Turnberry, Scotland.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Fred Couples knows what it takes to be in shape to win a major. So, when it came to preparing for the 2012 British Senior Open, he took it easy and rested his aching back. Apparently, that decision was the right one because Couples has another trophy to add to his mantle.

Down by a stroke to Bernard Langer, Couples was relentless Sunday, as he shaped shot after spectacular shot, on his way to a 3-under 67. His total score of 271 was not only good enough to win, it was two better than second-place finisher Gary Hallberg.

Meanwhile, Langer imploded during a miserable back nine. According to the Huffington Post, he "dropped five shots in five holes" to finish in a sixth-place tie.

Couples can thank himself for preparing his body for a grueling tournament. During Wednesday's pre-tournament press conference, Couples admitted that he took last week off, after tweaking his back at a tourney in Pittsburgh.

Couples said "I'm rusty and not rusty," which must have been a good thing for the 52-year-old. 

The rest appeared to be just what the doctor ordered, because Couple's back did not seem to limit him whatsoever. 

According to Sports Illustrated's, Couples was in position to win the tournament after knocking in seven birdies during Saturday's third round. He then stayed steady Sunday, with three birdies and six pars.

But the ending was most memorable, as the 1992 Masters Champion saved his best for last. As confirmed by the Washington Post, Couples eyed a 25-foot birdie putt on 18 and rolled it in to seal the deal.