124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

Shots Fired

Justin Thomas tees off on author of new book about the PGA Tour-LIV Golf battle

October 05, 2023

David Cannon

A new book chronicling the two-year battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is set to hit shelves later this month. In the meantime, golfers—and even one player's mom—are hitting back.

Alan Shipnuck's LIV and Let Die: The Inside Story of the War between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is scheduled to come out Oct. 17, but some spicy parts have come out from advance copies and an excerpt released by the Fire Pit Collective. That includes this quote attributed to Brooks Koepka shortly after he played in his first LIV event in Portland in 2022, talking about leaving the tour and joining LIV:

"F--k all of those country club kids who talk sh-t about me. You think I give a f---k what they think?"

According to Shipnuck, the five-time major champ was referring to Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, among others. And while Thomas didn't address this quote specifically, he took to X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday in response to an anonymous quote from the book aimed at Rory McIlroy to make his thoughts on Shipnuck known.

"I'd like to speak on behalf of a lot of Tour players and say we're sick of @AlanShipnuck doing what he does," Thomas wrote on social media. "Bring positivity and good stories to help grow the game of golf, not try and make money bashing guys, earning zero trust, with a lot of incorrect information. Ridiculous."

Thomas, who said he's on vacation in Italy following the Ryder Cup, offered a few follow-up tweets as well.

And here was Shipnuck's response:

Shipnuck, a longtime writer for Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine, currently works for the Fire Pit Collective and has the most first-place wins in the history of the Golf Writers of America's (GWAA) annual writing contest. He's also no stranger to controversy when it comes to things he's written.

His previous book, Phil: The Rip-Roaring (And Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf's Most Colorful Superstar, contained Mickelson's comments about Saudi Arabia that led to him losing several sponsors. Mickelson claimed that interview was off the record.