'I Didn't Like How He Handled Himself' - Varner Calls Out LIV Golf Teammate

After his Niblicks GC team were knocked out of the LIV Golf Team Championship, Varner was rather unhappy with his teammate, James Piot

Varner hits a driver
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With the amount of money on the line at the LIV Golf Team Championships finale, it seems that those competing are getting rather tetchy, or it appears so after Friday's quarter final action.

As the eight teams of four battled it out, it was Smash, Majesticks, Cleeks and Punch GC who advanced to the semi finals on Saturday. However, following their 2-1 loss to Smash GC, Harold Varner III called out the actions of his fellow Niblicks GC teammate, James Piot, stating: "I didn't really like how Piot handled himself."

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Varner, who claimed an impressive 4&3 win over recent LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah victor, Brooks Koepka, saw his efforts in vain as Piot lost 5&3 to Peter Uihlein, while Turk Petit and Hudson Swafford went down to a 2&1 defeat to Jason Kokrak and Chase Koepka.

Obviously unhappy not to be moving on to the semi finals, as well as securing more of the pot of the $50 million purse, Varner was rather angry with the result, as he said: "I played well. I think I would have beat a lot of people. It was good. You've just got to take care of what you can take care of. It just sucks we didn't make it as a team. I don't really have much to say because winning isn't winning if you're going home."

The American was then asked whether he had spoken to his team following their defeat, to which Varner added: "Yeah, that's what you're supposed to do. It's called a team" before seemingly calling out his fellow teammate in a rant.

"I didn't really like how Piot handled himself. I think no matter if you're losing, you keep your head up and just take it on the chin. I loved the way that Turk and Hudson competed. Went out and watched their last three holes that they played, two or three holes. They competed great. Just that you want to win. Pretty simple."

Varner and Piot walk together

Piot and Varner walk together during LIV Golf Invitational Series Bangkok

(Image credit: Getty Images)

According to some reports, Piot, who claimed the 2021 US Amateur Championship, has taken around $1 million to join the series, but it is unclear as to how long his deal runs for. It is worth noting though that, after Bubba Watson joined LIV Golf back in the summer, he became a non-playing Captain for the Niblicks GC.

Currently sidelined with a knee injury, Watson is likely to return in 2023, meaning one player will have to drop out, as squads are made up of four players. It is unclear who will be forced out when Bubba features.

Despite his LIV Golf season being cut short for 2022, Varner remains hopeful for next year and the launch of the LIV Golf league in 2023, with the American stating: "Our team is going to be awesome. We're going to be good. Just want him (Watson) to be healthy. Yeah, we could have used him but you don't get to choose that life. It's called adversity; it is what it is.

"I had a great time with the guys. They are awesome. Yeah, I want to see Turk and I want to see Piot progress. Those are two things that I care about the most. Hudson I could care less. He's won twice on the PGA Tour. He's a great guy. He's good at golf. Those guys are just young -- those young guys just don't know. It's just the way it is."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x