Fred Couples: “I’ll Never Speak To Phil Again”

The former Masters champion says he’s “done” with LIV Golf and those who have signed up

Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson are unlikely to play together again or even speak now that Phil has joined LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fred Couples has said he’ll probably never speak to Phil Mickelson again now that the six-time Major winner is plying his trade with LIV Golf.

‘Lefty’ is one of the marquee signings of the Saudi-backed series, and Couples says it’s unlikely the two - both vice captains on last year’s triumphant US Ryder Cup winning team - will ever play with or even speak again.

“I don’t think I’ll ever talk to him again,” Couples told Golf.com. “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.”

The 1992 Masters champion also questioned how long LIV Golf would be around for, and the awkwardness of the players trying to dress up why they have signed up, when to Couples, the reason is obvious, and it’s all financial.

“These guys - you’ve seen their interviews, right?” Couples continued on Golf.com. “Have you ever seen Phil look so stupid in his life? They know it’s a joke. 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.”

Mickelson wasn’t the only LIV Golfer to draw the ire of Couples, who is currently preparing his US team for the Icons Series, a new matchplay event that pits 12 American athletes - such as swimmer Michael Phelps and NFL legend Reggie Bush - against rivals from across the world.

Pat Perez, one of the less heralded LIV Golf signings, was also called out by Couples after the three-time PGA Tour winner’s press conference ahead of the second LIV Golf event, which starts on Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland.

“I heard of all people Perez was a little confrontational,” Couples told Golf.com. “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.”

At 62, Couples’ best playing days are behind him, and it’s unlikely LIV Golf would target him with one of their big money offers. Even if they did though, the former World No.1 would resist any overtures from the Middle East for fear of his family disowning him.

“I think this is a family thing for me,” Couples told Golf.com. “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.”

Jeff Kimber
Jeff Kimber

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!