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Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples

Fred Couples lays into ‘nutbag’ Phil Mickelson during LIV Golf lambasting

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

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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