Fred Couples rips ‘nutbag’ Phil Mickelson as LIV Golf feud rolls on
Fred Couples, PGA Tour loyalist, thinks Phil Mickelson is a bit nutty.
Couples spoke to Randy Youngman of the Orange County Register about a range of topics concerning the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, which has become a firebrand in the sport throughout its two-year existence.
The 63-year-old Couples called Mickelson a “nutbag,” but clarified that he considers the lefty as one of the 10 greatest golfers ever and “still” likes him.
Nevertheless, Couples felt Mickelson was wildly overpaid by LIV Golf considering his current abilities.
“If you’re willing to give Phil Mickelson $200 million at age 53 to shoot 74 and 75, God bless you,” Couples said.
Couples and Mickelson are longtime friends and have been teammates on the United States’ Ryder Cup team, but Couples was highly critical of Mickelson’s decision to join LIV Golf last year.
“I don’t have a problem with LIV. What my problem has been when I tweet every now and then, is what these guys say when they go to the LIV Tour,” Couples said.
Couples mentioned Cam Smith — not by name, but as last year’s British Open and Players Championship winner — and admonished him for having said, “Now I can have birthdays and go to the weddings of my mates.”
“I find that comical because my favorite to ever play has five kids, 40 grandkids and he has never missed anything — and that was Jack Nicklaus,” said Couples.
Couples, who won the 1992 Masters, also expressed annoyance with “all these other clowns, like Sergio (Garcia),” who criticized a PGA Tour ruling before defecting to LIV Golf in 2022.
“Just go to the LIV Tour, but stop blasting something I’ve been a part of for 42 years,” Couples said.
“That’s my problem with (LIV golfers). They’re all bashing the PGA Tour, and that affects me a little bit.”
LIV Golf landed a TV deal with The CW, a broadcast network known for entertainment programming as opposed to live sports, which drew a veiled shot from Couples.
“It was on the CW a couple weeks ago, or whatever that channel everybody is laughing about,” he said derisively.
“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.”
Charles Howell won the $4 million champion’s purse at LIV Golf’s first event of the year with a 15-under in Mayakoba, Mexico.