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19th Hole

Fred Couples reveals the mammoth offer Will Zalatoris rejected to join LIV Golf



Last year, LIV Golf was attempting to lure all of the world’s biggest stars to their tour. They were successful in landing major champions such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau. They were also able to add a few younger players with great potential such as Joaquin Niemann and Mito Pereira.

However, there were still plenty of players LIV struck out on, including the winner of last year’s FedEx St. Jude, Will Zalatoris.

Zalatoris is one of the game’s most promising players, and already has a runner-up finish at the Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

According to Fred Couples, who was a speaker at the PGA Tour Champions breakfast prior to the Hoag Classic in Newport Beach, Zalatoris turned down a lot of money to join LIV.

“I don’t know anything about the LIV Tour, except they overpay all of them,” Couples said. He then mentioned that Will Zalatoris was initially offered $35 million to join LIV and then later $130 million, both of which he rejected.

“Money is zero object (for LIV),” Couples said. “I give Will a lot of credit; he wants (to stay with) the PGA Tour.”

Zalatoris and Couples are both represented by the same agent, so it’s fair to assume he might have been aware of what LIV offered the 26-year-old.

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  1. DB

    Mar 20, 2023 at 9:04 am

    Guy is crazy if he really turned down $130m. Golf is a fickle sport and he’s already had some injury issues.


    Mar 18, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    For 30m he should stay in the PGA. For 130 MILLION, he’s an idiot for not joining LIV. Any PGA pro is 1 injury away from being a has-been. Freddy should know, I’ve heard back injuries really affected his career in terms of how many victories he could have had. Besides, with the $$$ they’re making now at such a young age, do you think some of these young guys are thinking about having to play on the Champions Tour to keep their income stream flowing?

  3. gery katona

    Mar 17, 2023 at 12:52 pm

    For the life of me, I cannot understand the LIV business plan. It cannot sustainably succeed in its current form.

    • Mr. Jones and me

      Mar 19, 2023 at 10:23 pm

      The investors are Saudi royalty who pretty much have unlimited income from their oil.

  4. Duhduhduh

    Mar 17, 2023 at 12:14 am

    $130 million???? He should’ve taken it, as injury prone as he is, he may only have 4 or 5 good years left!!! That was guarantee cash, plus with the team game he would’ve made more!!! Dumbest decision.

  5. Brandon

    Mar 16, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    Anybody want to take the over on Will Zalatoris earning more than 130 million in his career?

  6. Michael B.

    Mar 16, 2023 at 10:38 am

    He should’ve taken the money. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. LIV and PGA will eventually come to a truce, allowing players to interchange.

  7. Darren

    Mar 16, 2023 at 10:01 am

    What an idiot

  8. Pingback: Golf legend sounds off on ‘nutbag’ Phil Mickelson, ‘comical’ Cam Smith and ‘clown’ Sergio Garcia – GolfWRX

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19th Hole

‘Never be buddies’ – NHL star hits back at Brooks Koepka following golfer’s heckling



Brooks Koepka, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed all take part in this week’s LIV Golf Orlando, their own prelude to the Masters starting on April 6th.

So, of course, at Wednesday’s presser, they were asked about their preparations, what would happen if one were to win at Augusta and, naturally, about ‘Cone-gate,’ a recent incident involving Koepka, a traffic cone, and an insult hurled at NHL defenceman Aaron Ekblad. 


Koepka, captain of the Smash GC team, was happy to answer the reporter’s question and had his fellow LIV players intrigued by his revelations:

Q: Brooks, sort of a viral clip from last week at the Panther game, I was just curious what’s your beef with Aaron Ekblad, and did you bring the cone from home?

Brooks: I did not bring the cone. He gave up a bad goal. It was a bad pass in the third. I’m a die-hard P’s fan, and he gave up a bad goal.

Bubba: What sport is this?

Reed: Hockey.

Brooks: Really?

Yeah, it’s all right. Yeah, he gave up a bad goal I think midway through the third, and I just felt like if they didn’t win that game, they weren’t going to make the Playoffs. Dedicated fan, man.

Bubba: What is that cone he’s talking about?

Brooks: There was a cone. There was a cone that was just outside, so I —

Bubba: Were you hydrated that night?

Brooks: Yeah.

Bubba: Now we’re getting to it.

Brooks: Absolutely. Listen, I’m a die-hard fan.

Bubba: Is your shirt on or off?

Brooks: It’s on.

Bubba: I ain’t gonna look at it then.

Brooks: But I’m a die-hard fan, man. When they do something good, I’m the first one to cheer them, I’ll text these guys.

Bubba: Did you not text him?

Brooks: I didn’t text him, no. I did not.

Well, Ekblad has since responded, and told Sportsnet’s Luke Fox that he doesn’t know Koepka and that they will “never be buddies.”

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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka’s coach says he expects LIV golfers to struggle at next week’s Masters



With the permission of Augusta National, the field for next week’s Masters will include six former champions that made the decision to join LIV Golf.

Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel and Phil Mickelson will all tee it up on 6th April, certain to show that the move to the rebel tour has not diminished their ability to still compete amongst the world’s elite.

However, Pete Cowan, coach to the likes of Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, says that he is “not optimistic” about the chances of the LIV players at the first major of the year.

In an interview with The Times, the 72-year-old short-game wizard said,

“I’m not optimistic about players who aren’t playing competitively on a regular basis,”

“It’s a big deal. Like any sport, if you’re not competitively sharp you struggle.”

To put that into context, the official world’s top three players have taken part in a total of 21 events between them, with number three Jon Rahm leading the way with eight competitive outings, one ahead of the world number one Scottie Scheffler.

In contrast, 2016 US Open and 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson has only played two events since the turn of the year – LIV Mayakoba and LIV Tucson – and the current LIV table leader Charles Howell has done the same.

As The Times states, the most active PGA athletes will have played ‘more than double’ the number of rounds compared to their LIV counterparts come the Masters. There is concern over the level of commitment and desire to win from the LIV players, with last year’s Open Championship winner Cam Smith finishing fifth and 24th in his two outings in 2023, and DJ ranking in 35th and 13th in limited fields.

It may be that it’s money for old rope, but the incentive to appear in one of the PGA Tour’s ‘elevated’ events must also weigh heavily on those that took the big bucks to jump ship in 2022.

Cowan doesn’t slate those that went for the money, agreeing it has to be a motivating factor in sport, no matter what the public persona might say.

“Whether they say they do or not, they all play for money,” he said, before continuing

 “They are selfish and they have to be to be very good players. Ask Rory how much appearance money he gets a year. They all need to get round a table because if someone is investing billions into my sport I’d be saying, ‘How can I accommodate you?'”

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19th Hole

Augusta National Women’s Amateur champ hit with brutal 4-stroke penalty to begin defense



When high school sophomore Anna Davis won the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, everything went her way.

From charging through the field on the final day with a 69, to seeing leader Latanna Stone finish double-bogey, bogey to hand her the title, the then 16-year-old admitted, “I’m still a little shocked. I literally… I’m speechless. I can’t even fathom what just happened.”

Fast-forward 12 months and the defending champion had a completely opposite opening round, the bad day highlighted with a four-stroke penalty on her opening hole.

In the first round of the ANWA at Champions Retreat, host for the first two rounds of the 54-hole event, Davis twice lifted, cleaned and placed her ball while it was in the rough, mistakenly believing it was ‘preferred lies’ from anywhere.

Davis was then told on the 4th hole that there was a chance the committee would penalize her, but it was only after she finished her round that they confirmed she had lost four strokes, and had to sign for a 9 on hole one.

Chairman of Competition Committees James B Hyler Jr explained, “During play of her first hole, Anna Davis lifted her ball and failed to replace it on its original spot on two separate occurrences. Under Rule 9.4, Ms Davis has been penalized two strokes for each occurrence of playing from a wrong place. Her score on hole 1 will be increased from 5 to 9.”

Davis, who made four cuts from seven outings on the LPGA Tour last season, followed her opening hole with a double at the fourth hole and bogey on the next, standing at eight over par after just five holes. However, she fought back with four birdies and no dropped shots through the last 13 holes, eventually recording a four-over 76, 10 behind leader Rose Zhang.

The 17-year-old told reporters that she had checked the ruling with the group scorer. She asked if the preferred lie ruling apply all over the course and says she was told yes. “I guess he didn’t know,” Davis admitted.

“Aside from hole 1, I played pretty good today,” Davis said. “I hit a lot of shots close. The putter wasn’t really rolling, but I hit good shots.”

“I felt pretty good with my game the next 14 holes after that. I hit good shots. I just tried to forget that the 1st hole happened. All I can really do is have that give me motivation to do well tomorrow and have a good round tomorrow.

I’m playing well so I’m confident that I can do well tomorrow.”

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