Couples: 'I won't talk to Mickelson again'

Who doesn't like Fred Couples? He's been one of the coolest players on the planet since the 80s, thanks to his languid swing, easy-going manner and stylish and good looks, so when Couples speaks we all listen. He's captained three Presidents Cup teams, for some reason he never got the Ryder Cup gig, but he's a central figure in world golf.

This week Couples was about as outspoken as he's ever been. Couples is 10 years older than Phil Mickelson, they've played in countless teams, played in the same tournaments for decades and were both vice-captains to Steve Stricker at last year's Ryder Cup, but they couldn't be further apart these days courtesy of Mickelson's decision to join the LIV Golf Series.

“I don’t think I’ll ever to talk to him again,” Couples said. “What for? I’m not in the same boat as him anymore, and probably never will play golf with him again. I’m not saying that to be mean. We’re just in different orbits.”

If that wasn't strong enough the 62-year-old added this: “I think this is a family thing for me. I’m a little peon from Seattle, but I know where the money’s coming from, and I think my family would disown me if I went. Of course, that’s easy for me to say because I’m not going, so I can actually tell you whatever I want to tell you.
These guys — you’ve seen their interviews, right? Have you ever seen Phil look so stupid in his life? They know it’s a joke.”

We all know it's a joke which makes all the selling of the LIV circus by the players themselves all the more tedious. There was a particularly nauseating press conference from Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez which Couples also alluded to.

“I heard of all people Perez was a little confrontational,” Couples added. “He’s a grain of sand in this Tour. He should be soft and kind, but he’s, like, raising his voice. I’m done with it. I cannot believe they can pay a guy $150 million for that. What, Phil wouldn’t have gone for 100 and Dustin [Johnson] for 70? Then what does that tell you right there?

“They’re all saying they want to change golf, they’re doing it for the better of golf. No-one has said, ‘Hey, when I look back 50 years from now … we’ll have made this tour [what it is].’ No-one has said that. You know why? Because they’re not going to be around in three years.”

Couples was playing in an event with swimming legend Michael Phelps this week and he asked Phelps whether he would win the LA Open for $1.9m or a LIV event for $4m?

“I want to go out there and be a part of history, and try to recreate history. That’s what I was all about,” Phelps replied.