Fred Couples made two key putts in the Dubai Desert Classic on Friday and missed the chance of a lifetime. By rallying to make the cut in the rich international tournament, the Seattle native and huge sports fan had to give up his ticket to the Super Bowl.
Couples had received the ticket from a Seattle radio host six months ago and figured it would be interesting if his beloved Seahawks reached the championship game at MetLife Stadium. But as a past champion, he also accepted an invitation to play in the 25th anniversary Dubai Desert Classic -- joining Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and other big names in the field.
Judging by the way he was heading down the stretch Friday, he looked as if he were going to be free on the weekend, but he birdied his final two holes and made the cut -- meaning he would remain in the Middle East for the weekend.
"Please call me stupid," the 54-year-old former Masters champion told The National, an English-language newspaper in Abu Dhabi. "I just couldn't butcher enough holes."
Couples was joking. When he was asked if the thought occurred to him to tank the finish so he would be sure to make it to the game, he told the paper, "There is no way I would ever not [try]. Really, I'm tickled pink."
The ticket, reportedly for a seat on the 50-yard line, went to a friend. He said, "I will watch it on TV, which is the next-best thing."