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Although she occasionally mentioned studying the Bible, and told friends at golfer Payne Stewart's funeral in 1999 that she was teaching Sunday school in California, no one seems to know why or even if Deborah felt some special connection to the towering white chapel.

It seems unlikely that she simply spotted it from the road -- the school isn't an especially easy place to find, and the chapel sits at the center of the quiet campus. Deborah Morgan Couples was pronounced dead at the scene at p.m.

"Babycakes, I luvya," Deborah cried out in '83, when she bolted onto the green and wrapped her legs around Fred at the Kemper, his first professional victory.

His friends have said she was the one who most influenced him to turn pro.

Couples, a 5-foot-8, blue-eyed California blonde with a penchant for tight, bright-colored clothes, was also an athlete in her own right.

When she met Fred at the University of Houston in 1979, she was on the tennis team.

The sassy blonde seemed to be living life on her own terms, moving from one challenge to the next whenever the spirit moved her.

"If I made a list of everyone I know, and had to pick out who would do something like this, she would be at the bottom of the list," said Kathlene Bissell, a Florida journalist who wrote the 1999 biography .

That never changed -- from the day she jumped into her husband's arms after he won the 1983 Kemper Open to the afternoon in May when she leaped to her death from a chapel in Claremont, Calif. Police used Deborah's Florida driver's license -- issued in 1996 when she still had a home in Palm Beach County -- for the initial identification."I gotta believe she was a fighter, and it's awfully hard to believe a fighter with that background would take the cheap way out," Straub said."Polo is a knock-down, drag-out sport, with cowboys bumping up against each other, but they let this cowgirl in. She was fit and firm and vigorous and ready to take on the world." Deborah began playing polo while she was still married to Fred Couples, and her obsession with the sport is often mentioned as a major factor in their break-up.Glenn Straub, owner of the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club, also was surprised to hear of Couples' suicide.After watching her take on the male-dominated sport in the 1990s, Straub was impressed with Couples' toughness on the polo field, where she broke ribs and fingers, and sprained her neck.

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