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The Loop

Couples headed down under

November 16, 2009

Fred Couples has committed to playing the Australian Open next month, and wouldn't you like to know the size of the appearance fee he will receive for doing so?

Tournament organizers were counting on Greg Norman's appearance to boost interest, but Norman's shoulder has not sufficiently healed from surgery to allow him to play. Desperate to buttress the field with a marquee name, they found a taker in Couples.

Couples, 50, has an aversion to long flights, given his chronic back issues, so it's safe to say that he isn't going to Sydney for nothing.

The tournament has taken some liberties with his resume, however, noting 46 career victories, a number that has been referenced in several news accounts. Couples has 15 PGA Tour victories and an additional five international wins. So where are the other 26?

It counts Skins Games, Shark Shootouts, Par-3 Shootouts and anything else he's won.

-- John Strege