The normally mild-mannered Fred Couples has taken dead aim at “nutbag” Phil Mickelson and “all these other clowns” who took parting shots at the PGA Tour on their way to join LIV Golf.
Couples was a guest speaker at the PGA Tour Champions breakfast ahead of this weeks’ Hoag Classic in Newport Beach – where he currently resides – and aimed digs at Mickelson and Sergio Garcia.
The 63-year-old, who is also a two-time winner of the Hoag Classic, used his speech to defend the PGA Tour and launch a stinging attack mocking several players who decided to join LIV Golf.
Couples labelled Mickelson as a “nutbag” during his speech but added that he still likes him, while voicing his annoyance at “all these other clowns, like Sergio (Garcia)” who complained about the PGA Tour before joining LIV.
Being such a long-term fixture of the PGA Tour, Couples seems to have taken a lot of the criticism quite personally as several outgoing players joining LIV decided to attack their former employer on the way out.
Couples made it clear that he doesn’t blame any of them for taking the Saudi Arabian fortunes to go and play for Greg Norman – but won’t accept the way some of them burned their bridges when leaving.
“I don’t have a problem with LIV,” said Couples, as reported by the Orange County Register. “What my problem has been when I tweet every now and then, is what these guys say when they go to the LIV Tour.
“Just go to the LIV Tour, but stop blasting something I’ve been a part of for 42 years. That’s my problem. They’re all bashing the PGA Tour, and that affects me a little bit.
“If you’re giving Phil Mickelson $200 million at age 52 to shoot 74 and 75, God bless you.”
The 15-time PGA Tour winner and 1992 Masters champion added that he found watching the latest LIV broadcast on The CW Network hard work.
“It was on the CW a couple weeks ago, or whatever that channel everybody is laughing about,” he joked.
“I turned it on three times. It was so bad, I couldn’t even watch anyone that I liked. They don’t show ’em. Who won the last one? I don’t even know.”
It was in fact Charles Howell III who claimed the $4m prize in Mexico in the LIV Golf opener, but that’s of little interest to Couples, who was asked about the future of the new enterprise, replying: “I’m being flippy now; I don’t really care if it survives.”
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