'I Didn't Respect A Comment Unless It's To Somebody's Face' - Kokrak Snaps Back At LIV Critics

Jason Kokrak says he didn't expect any LIV critics to say anything negative to his face at Augusta during the Masters

Jason Kokrak in action at LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jason Kokrak took aim at Fred Couples’ “nutbag” jibe against Phil Mickelson and his other references to LIV Golfers saying he “didn't respect a comment unless it's to somebody's face”.

Couples labelled LIV Golf players such as Sergio Garcia as “clowns” in a speech hitting back at the Saudi-backed tour after becoming upset with several of their number taking parting shots at the PGA Tour.

Former Masters champion Couples said it “bothers the hell out of me” when seeing the PGA Tour come under attack from LIV Golf players, but did clarify that he has no personal problems with any of the players who joined up with Greg Norman.

Kokrak echoed the sentiments of the likes of Bryson DeChambeau who said that the reception he’d received so far at Augusta has been positive – reuniting with friends who still play on the PGA Tour.

“It's been incredible,” said Kokrak. “You get to see long-time friends that you haven't seen in a long time, caddies, players, people, staff, all around Augusta. I mean, it's been great. I didn't expect anything less.”

The 37-year-old did take a swipe at Couples, and those like him who have criticised LIV Golf recently, by saying that he didn’t expect them to repeat comments they made in the media to the faces of the players.

“I mean, you heard people talking behind a microphone, but I think what people do behind a microphone and what people do to somebody's face is a little bit different,” he added. “I didn't expect anything different. 

When asked directly about the Couples comment about Mickelson and whether he'd seen any repeat of it, Kokrak replied: "People are entitled to however they want to say it.

"And if they want to say it behind a microphone they're entitled to say it behind a microphone. I didn't respect a comment unless it's to somebody's face.”

A member of Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC in LIV Golf, Kokrak says they’ll be sporting their team colours at Augusta as most of the other LIV Golf players will be – as Cameron Smith revealed that it is a clause in their contracts.

"We don't actually have too many different colours, but we're wearing the logos this week,” he added. “We're really amped up about the team aspect that we've been doing, and really enjoying that aspect of the competition that we're in right now.

“Nonetheless, this is a slightly different format for four days, concentrating here at a Major championship, just like I would at any other Major, regardless of how I was playing.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.