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The Loop

What did Fred Couples get for his 50th birthday?

October 04, 2009

Fred Couples added a few gray hairs on the 50th birthday with news that Phil Mickelson tweaked his back and needed noted back specialist Tom Boers to fly cross-country from Columbus, Ga., to San Diego on the eve of the Presidents Cup for treatment.

But Mickelson assured his captain that he and assistant captain Michael Jordan didn't need to consider any lineup changes. "Same thing happened before the Tour Championship," Mickelson said. "[Tom] Boers fixed it in minutes."

Mickelson never showed any effects of a tight back at East Lake, where he shot a final-round 65 for a three-stroke win over Tiger Woods. He spent Thursday working with putting instructor Dave Stockton on putting and for the first time, chipping, near his home in San Diego, but his back again tightened up after their session.

Couples confirmed Mickelson's need to see Boers on NBC. The captain set up camp early in San Francisco, met Jordan for dinner Friday night and anticipated having a quiet dinner on Saturday, followed by doing what he did with M.J. the night before -- talk Presidents Cup until 1 in the morning. Six of the top seven players on the leader board at East Lake were right off their roster with one of the captain's picks, Lucas Glover, finishing T-10.

"My guys are ready," Couples said. "We need Phil and we got him ready to roll. It should be lots of fun. I can't wait to see the guys on Monday."

--Tim Rosaforte