Couples learns to master the
In Augusta Georgia, Fred Couples became the
fourth former UH golfer in 14 years to win the most
prestigious tournament in professional golf, the Masters.
Couples is considered by many to be the best golfer
in the world today. Of the former Cougars to have won
the Masters, he is the only one to graduate.
Nick Faldo, who one back-to-back Masters in '89
and '90, played only the 75-76 season while Fuzzy
Zoeller, who one the title in 79, played only the 72-73
Couples, who played here from 79-'80, finished
with a four day total of 13 under par, 275, two strokes
ahead of 76 Masters champion Ray Hoyd.
The win gave Couples a $270,000 paycheck, access
to a section of the Augusta National clubhouse that is
reserved for Masters champions, and use of the green
blazer, which has become almost as big as the Masters
Couples was the first American to win the tournament in five years.
Several UH-exes played in this year's Shell Hous-
(who came in third), and favored Couples, unfortunately, the tournament went to University of Maryland-ex Fred Funk.
Despite the many PGA wins the UH alumni have
racked up lately (four alone to Couples in the first half
of '92), no Cougar has ever taken the Houston Open.
Golf is one of the richest traditions in Cougar
From 1952 to the present, 16 Cougar golf teams
have won National Championships, all under Coach
Dave Williams, one of the winningest coaches in College athletics. Eight former Cougar players have one
individual NCAA championships, including current
JL red Couples joined
the ranks of Golfs Elite
bv winning the Masters
in 1992. The UH graduate is one of many successful golfers to come
out of our school. Photo
by Greg Watson.
Nantz uses UH experience to
his way to the top at CBS
hen 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples weekends,hosted theGuy LewisShowon KI >RC,
put on the traditional green jacket, perhaps no and the Jackie Sherrill Show for Texas A&M, as
one was feeling more emotion and pride than well as PA. for the Cougars,
the man standing right beside him, Couples' "WhileI wasdoingthecall-inshow, we
former suitemate and golfing teammate at UH, were up against Oiler games and SWC k x rtball,
Jim Nantz. and we'd go four hours with only two phone
Nantz, is one of CBS's announcers, and calls," said Nantz. "Finally ['d get my buddies
hosted coverage of the Masters and the post- ftomthedonnstostartcallingmeupandcliange
tournament award ceremony. their voices around. It anally taught me how to
"It was a moment that I didn't know
how I was going to handle," Nantz said. "1 was
afraid I might break down and cry. We used to
hang around Taub Hall together; it was a great
thrill for me."
was given the 1992 Distinguished Alumni
Award, said his memories of UH aren't all as
pleasant as the ones of
he and Couples hanging out at Taub.
ad-lib and improvise."
A network affiliate in Salt Like City
for KSL-TV. Not wanting to leave I loustonfora
much smaller market,
Nantz went just to get
But Nantz Found that
KSLwasoneof the highest rated stations in the
country and decided the
job might be a good
move, and with all the
jobs he had in Houston,
it might be good to get a
ts with CBS'Jim Nantz. photo by Greg Watson
cafeteria. "I crawled to the infirmary one time
after an unpleasant dinner at OB," Nantz said.
Nantz came to UH in 1978 to play on the
Cougar golf team, hoping to one day become a
pro, but golf was not to be Nantz's call to fame.
His memories of his short golf career are
about as pleasant as his memories of cafeteria
"My golf career was highlighted by one
tournament," Nantz said. '1 qualified in the last
position, and I was under after the front nine, not going to take a guy from Salt Lake City/" he
leading Couples, Blaine McCallister, Ray Barr said.
In Utah, Nantz was bombarded with
job offers from around the country but they
didn't offer the play-by-play assignments like he
was doing for the Utah Jazz and BYU.
In August 1985, Nantz was invited by
CBS to audition for the network's college football studio show in New York.
Nantz said he really didn't expect anything to come out of the trip. "I thought, 'they're
and John Home by three shots, but heading into
the easiest stretch on the course, I cold-shanked
my tee shot right into a bayou. That was the
turning point of my life."
After the first score happened to be a
Houston win over Texas, Nantz breezed through
the rest of the audition, knowing he had the job.
Nantz has covered college basketball
Afterfailingtomakeanothercut,Nantz and professional golf. Nantz covered the Winter
ditched the professional golfing dream in lieu of Olympics in Alberville, France, the Cotton Bowl
a shot at broadcasting.
"The whole thing got started by doing
publicaddrcssattheCougar basketball games,"
While taking 18 hours in his senior year
at UH, Nantz hosted a sports call-in show on
and the NCAA Final Four.
You would think this kind of success
would give almost any guy a big head. But not
Nantz. He even seemed a little nostalgic about
his days at Houston.
But not about cafeteria food.