Couples still hot, forges 4-way tie in Doral Open

March 06, 1992

MIAMI -- Fred Couples converted the momentum of a victory in Los Angeles into a share of a four-way tie for the lead yesterday in the first round of the Doral Ryder Open.

"I usually feel very comfortable right after winning," said Couples, who scored a playoff triumph last weekend.

"Bogeys don't bother you. I feel very relaxed. I don't get too edgy no matter what happens."

That relaxed attitude was enhanced by par-saving putts of 20 and 30 feet in a bogey-free round of 6-under-par 66 on the Blue Monster course at Doral.

He shared the lead with Australian Steve Elkington, who had an eagle-3 in his effort, and journeymen Loren Roberts and Mike Smith.

The group at 67 included Ray Floyd, Curtis Strange, Ben Crenshaw, Jim Gallagher, Duffy Waldorf, Bobby Wadkins and Fred Funk of Laurel, a former University of Maryland golf coach.

The exceptionally low scoring, the leaders agreed, was the result of the best greens they've seen this year.

"They're so good you can't imagine missing" a putt, Roberts said.

"Fifty percent better than anything we've seen this year," Elkington said.

"Perfect. The best I've ever seen here," Couples said.

No one, however, was happier with the putting surfaces than Floyd, a two-time winner of this title who will join the Senior PGA Tour later this year.

"The greens are marvelous, the best I've ever played here," he said.

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