Fred Couples went into his final round of just his second Champions Tour event with a lead. If I was to tell you he shot an 8-under 64 to close, you, like most logical people, would think that was good enough to win. By a lot.
That would have been the case if Tommy Armour III wasn't in the field. Armour shot an 11-under 61 to tie the lowest round ever on the Champions Tour, forcing Freddy to actually grind it out at the end of the day, but a two-putt par on the 18th was good enough for a Couples win.
Why is this so important? Well, if there was ever a name that could get regular golf fans excited about the Champions Tour again, it is Couples. He is the guy that my dad still talks about like he could win the Masters this year. His cool demeanor around the course and absolutely beautiful golf swing are two things that will actually, and get ready for this, sell tickets to events. Couples competing against Tom Watson again, like they did in Hawaii, is news that could actually bump a Tiger-less PGA Tour event from the top bar on the golf page. He's that important.
Why else is this important? Winning makes winning more a lot easier. Don't believe me? Watch Michelle Wie this season. I guarantee she cards a couple of victories after her late season trophy in Mexico. Couples winning on the Champions Tour could mean momentum for the 50 year old on the PGA Tour, and remembering what it feels like coming down the stretch might benefit him on the big boys tour as well. He still can hit the ball long enough to compete, and if that back can hold up, we might see him cash another PGA Tour victory check.
Just know this -- anytime Fred Couples does something positive, the golf world's stock goes up.