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Fred Couples dismisses LIV Golf: Players 'know it's a joke'

Ben Jared / PGA TOUR / Getty

Fred Couples didn't hold back Wednesday when speaking about Greg Norman's Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.

"These guys - you've seen their interviews, right?" Couples said about the LIV Golf press conferences, according to Golf's Alan Bastable. "Have you ever seen Phil look so stupid in his life? They know it's a joke."

Couples has made many Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup appearances with Phil Mickelson, recently acting as vice-captain alongside the six-time major champion in last year's Ryder Cup.

However, Couples said the two might not speak going forward.

"I don't think I'll ever talk to him again," Couples added. "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."

Couples also said he doesn't think the players who've joined believe in LIV Golf's longevity.

"They're all saying they want to change golf, they're doing it for the better of golf," Couples said. "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."

Zach Johnson, another vice-captain at the 2021 Ryder Cup and named captain for the 2023 installment, recently broke down how players qualify to play on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. He pointed out the potential difficulty LIV Golf players will face when it comes time to name teams.

"So what I know is this: In order to play on the Ryder Cup team, whether you're top six or a (captain's) pick, you must garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America," Johnson told reporters Tuesday, according to Golf Channel's Max Schreiber. "In order to garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America, you have to be a member of the PGA of America. The way that we're members of the PGA of America is through the PGA TOUR."

Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau were part of the 2021 U.S. Ryder Cup team and have since joined LIV Golf.

PGA TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan announced earlier this month the suspension of all players participating in LIV Golf events.

The second tournament of the Saudi-backed series starts Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club outside of Portland, Oregon.

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