ENDICOTT, N.Y. – We’re just one day away now from the first round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
Thursday was the last day for all the players to get a feel for the course in preparation for the opening round.
As day two of the pro-am continued, it was also the first time this week fans got the chance to see two of the bigger names in the tournament hit the course in a somewhat competitive fashion.
Both Davis Love III and Fred Couples got their turn in the pro-am, and it didn’t come without any fanfare.
As both men made their way from the putting green to the 10th tee box, stops were made for autographs and pictures, with both happy to oblige.
As Love III and Couples get ready for their highly-anticipated return to En-Joie, they spoke about why this year made sense for them.
“Schedule worked finally, and I’m excited to be here. And obviously, Mike Hulbert got a spot to play this week. So, we’re both very excited to be back playing at a place that means so much to so many tour players my age,” says Love III.
“My goal is to, obviously, play well here. But, really, to get some rounds of golf in and then go to Seattle and play. Then, my year is kind of over. So, just come support Dick’s and play, and try to get a little bit better than the way I’ve been playing the past month or two,” Couples said.
Even during the pro-am, these World Golf Hall of Famers had strong followings as they made their way around the course.
However, on Friday, those fan groups can merge as Boom Boom and DL3, along with Jay Haas, find themselves in the same grouping.
“Then I get paired with Jay Haas and Freddie Couples right out of the box. So, I’m thrown into the fire. I was practicing a lot. I stayed out here until after seven o’clock yesterday trying to knock some of the rust off. So, my expectations are very low, but the excitement level is very high,” said Love III.
“I’ve known Davis since we were, well I’m a little older than him. But, since he was twenty-five and got on the tour. I’ve known Jay for close to thirty-five years. So, that will be a blast. And that is the whole ball of wax for me. I love to play golf. I love all the pairings out here. But, to get Jay and Davis is going to be a fun day,” says Couples.
The Love, Couples, and Haas grouping will undoubtedly have the largest following on Friday.
The only thing that remains to be seen is if any of them can make a run to the top of the leaderboard by day’s end.