Golf: Single-minded Couples back on winning trail after trials

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The Independent Online
Fred Couples, who has known considerable physical and mental pain over the last four years, is a winner again on the course.

Putting aside the pain of an arthritic back and the stress of two recent personal tragedies, Couples beat his fellow American, Bruce Lietzke, in a play-off on Sunday at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Bermuda Dunes, California. It was his first victory in nearly two years.

Couples had a birdie at the 18th hole to catch Lietzke in regulation play. He did the same again 20 minutes later to win on the first play- off hole.

Couples, 38, who has been bothered by his back for the past four years, played just 15 events last year. Instead he turned his attention to his father, who had leukaemia, and to his own girlfriend, Thais Bren, who has since recovered from breast cancer. Couples' father, Tom, died last November.

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