Sergio Garcia and Cameron Smith were also in the firing line as Freddie Cool took to the stage

“Nutbag”, “clown”, and “comical”.

These were just three words that Fred Couples used during an epic rant about LIV Golf and some of its players.

As reported by the Orange County Register, Couples – known for his cool persona on and off the golf course – didn’t hold back during a speech ahead of the Hoag Classic on the PGA Champions Tour.

“I don’t have a problem with LIV,” he started. “What my problem has been when I tweet every now and then, is what these guys say when they go to the LIV Tour.”

The former Masters champion allegedly described Mickelson, a three-time conqueror of Augusta National, as a “nutbag” but also described him as one of the top 10 best players ever.

“If you’re giving Phil Mickelson $200 million at age 52 to shoot 74 and 75, God bless you,” he joked.

Couples took aim at LIV Golf’s debut broadcast in Mexico on the CW Network. The channel showed all the action from the weekend, with the first-round coverage being shown on the LIV Golf Plus app.

Despite initial doubt over the success of the broadcast, LIV Golf reported soaring numbers and a pleasing success of their first appearance on the American station.

“It was on the CW a couple of weeks ago, or whatever that channel everybody is laughing about,” he said. “I turned it on three times.

“It was so bad, I couldn’t even watch anyone that I liked. They don’t show them. Who won the last one? I don’t even know.”

(It was Charles Howell III, Boom Boom.)

fred couples

It was then the turn of Cameron Smith to be lambasted by the 63-year-old, who spent 16 weeks at World No 1 during his PGA Tour career.

Couples didn’t name the Australian but referred to him as “The Players and The Open champion”, and also someone who once claimed missing weddings and birthday parties of friends and family was a key reason for joining LIV.

“I find that comical,” Couples laughed. “My favourite to ever play has five kids, 40 grandkids, and he has never missed anything, and that was Jack Nicklaus.”

He was also said to have called Sergio Garcia “a clown”.

On the contrary, he praised up-and-coming PGA Tour star Will Zalatoris for turning down what Couples claimed were offers of $35 and $130 million to sign with the Saudi-backed league.

“I don’t know anything about the LIV tour, except they overpay all of them. I give Will a lot of credit. He wants [to stay with] the PGA Tour.”

Interestingly, though, he spared LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman, but added: “I’m being flippy now. I don’t really care if it survives.”

Matt Chivers

Tour Editor

Matt is NCG's man for all things going on in the world of tour golf. Kent born and bred, Matt is 7 handicap at Royal Cinque Ports and spent many years caddying at Royal St George's before moving north to study history at the University of Liverpool. Away from golf, Matt is an avid Arsenal fan and horse racing enthusiast. He is also keen to point out his surname is pronounced Chiv-ers, not Chive-ers.

Handicap: 7

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