Fred Couples Again Sounds Off on LIV Golf: 'I Don't Think I'll Ever Understand It'

The 1992 Masters champion wasn't a fan of the PGA Tour being disparaged but acknowledges the Saudi-backed league's stable of talented players.
Apr 9, 2024; Augusta, Georgia, USA; Fred Couples tees off on the fourth hole during a practice round
Apr 9, 2024; Augusta, Georgia, USA; Fred Couples tees off on the fourth hole during a practice round / Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Couples has made it clear previously that he’s no fan of the LIV Golf League. He’s taken some shots at the format and been critical of some of the players but mostly takes issue with any disparaging of the PGA Tour.

Couples acknowledges the strong play of several LIV Golf players and was asked again Tuesday about his feelings toward the league.

“I don’t think I'll ever understand it,’’ he said. “Maybe I'll go to one and see what it's really, really like. I know how great they are as players. I get it all, and I get the 54 holes and you drive a cart to your tee and shotgun. That's easy to pick on.

“Sometimes I've picked on comments that people have made, and I've picked on comments that they talk about the Tour, which I've said I have now 44 years invested in, and I don't want anyone picking on a tour that I think is very good.

“Now, everything can get better, but let me tell you, if the LIV Tour is better for golf, I'm missing something there. But again, I'm not here to bash them anymore. I'm going to see them all tonight (the seven Masters champions who play for LIV Golf who were to attend the annual Champions Dinner).

“Do I like coming to this tournament? I love it. Do I like five days before it seeing the people standing there saying we're coming after the green jacket? I mean, when I was 35 I was coming off the green jacket, too.”

Couples took issue with a LIV Golf promo last week in Miami where the 13 Masters participants said they were coming after the green jacket. “I mean, everyone at this tournament—you don’t think Ludvig Aberg wants to win the green jacket? Or (Tyrrell) Hatton?

“But I find it funny, and I find their golf very, very good. I love DJ (Dustin Johnson). I love Brooks (Koepka). I don't know if they even comment on the LIV Tour. They just play golf. So please don't tell me the LIV Tour is as good as the PGA Tour. I don't want to hear it.”

Sergio Garcia believes it’s all a media creation. The 2017 champion said as much when asked Tuesday—even though he’s had his own issues, including a spat with Rory McIlroy that was later resolved.

“I mean, you guys love these things,” Garcia said. “You keep building up these things, and there's nothing. There's nothing.

“You guys love to kind of dig and just kind of try to make it sound like we get in the locker room and we're fighting each other and stuff like that. It's not like that. At the end of the day, it's golf. We're all trying to play the best way we can, and that's it.”

 


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Bob Harig

BOB HARIG

Bob Harig is a senior golf writer for Sports Illustrated. He has more than 25 years experience covering golf, including 15 at ESPN. Bob is a regular guest on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio and has written two books, DRIVE: The Lasting Legacy of Tiger Woods and Tiger and Phil: Golf's Most Fascinating Rivalry. He graduated from Indiana University where he earned an Evans Scholarship, named in honor of the great amateur golfer Charles (Chick) Evans Jr. Bob, a former president of the Golf Writers Association of America, lives in Clearwater, Florida.