Speaking with Golf.com, Couples shared his thoughts on the Saudi-backed enterprise that has become a rival to the PGA Tour.
“I think this is a family thing for me,” Couples said. “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.”
Couples, who is captaining the U.S. squad at the Icons Series this week, brought 28-time Olympic medalist and golfer Michael Phelps into the conversation to make his point further.
“Let me ask you a question,” Couples asked Phelps. “You win the L.A. Open or a LIV [event] — L.A., you get a million-nine, LIV you get four [million]. What trophy would you rather have in your house?”
“For me,” Phelps said, “I want to go out there and be a part of history and try to recreate history. That’s what I was all about.”
“You know what,” Couples said, “here’s a guy who’s won a million [swimming] events and he just said it right on the button.”
When it came to Mickelson, whom Couples long considered a good friend from their playing and captaining days together, he minced the least words.
“These guys — you’ve seen their interviews, right?” Couples said. “Have you ever seen Phil [Mickelson] look so stupid in his life? They know it’s a joke.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever talk to him again. 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.”
There’s a lot of money involved in playing on the LIV Golf series but, as Couples makes clear, there are also costs for those who decide to play.