"I don't want to hear it" Masters champion fed up with LIV Golf being compared to PGA Tour

Fred Couples has had enough of LIV Golf being compared to the PGA Tour.

Couples is bored of comparing LIV Golf to PGA Tour
Couples is bored of comparing LIV Golf to PGA Tour

Former Masters champion Fred Couples has been outspoken about the LIV Golf vs PGA Tour debate since it rose its ugly head in 2022, but when it comes to comparing the two tours, he's heard enough. 

This time last year, the two Tours were locked in a bitter legal battle, their relationship souring by the day. But as we approach the 2024 Masters, a glimmer of hope appears on the horizon, hinting at a possible resolution. 

At present, the two Tours are in discussions about a potential merger, a move that could significantly reshape the landscape of men's professional golf, bringing about a unified entity.  

Fred Couples
Fred Couples

Couples has been outspoken about his disdain for the Saudi-backed circuit before. Most notably, he was dissatisfied with the number of players who took shots at the PGA Tour on their way out to collect vast sums of cash from LIV. 

The 15-time PGA Tour winner went so far as to single out two of LIV's biggest stars, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson, calling Garcia a "clown" and Mickelson a "nutbag". 

Couples has enjoyed a hall-of-fame career on the PGA Tour and is one of the fan favourites in the field this week as a former champion, having slipped on the green jacket in 1992.

This year will be his 39th appearance at Augusta National. 

Despite some back pain, he managed to get out for a practice round on Sunday with another former winner, Jose Maria Olazabal and also enjoyed nine holes on Tuesday morning with both Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods

Fred Couples, Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods
Fred Couples, Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods

Speaking to the media after his round, he was questioned about whether or not his stance on LIV had changed over time.

He responded:

"Well, has it changed? I don't think I'll ever understand it. 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. 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 after the green jacket, too.

"I don't think you need to tell people what you're doing. I mean, everyone at this tournament -- you don't think Ludvig Aberg wants to win the green jacket here, or Hatton?

"But I find it funny, and I find their golf very, very good. I love DJ. I love Brooks. 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."

Couples went on to be questioned about the champions dinner, which this year was hosted by Jon Rahm.

Rahm notably joined the LIV Golf Tour for an eye-watering $600m in December of 2023. 

The dinner took place last night, but despite tensions still running high between LIV and the PGA Tour, Couples reassured the media that there were no hard feelings towards the 2023 Masters champion.

He added:

“He’s going to sit up there, he’s going to serve us all great food and wine and we’re going to have a great time.

“Jon Rahm is a tremendous champion of this tournament. I don’t think there’s any issues at all with anybody.”

Couples will play with Canadian Adam Hadwin and American amateur Stewart Hagestad when play commences on Thursday. 

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