Brooks Koepka Leaving PGA Tour for LIV Golf, Expected to Compete in Upcoming Oregon Event

by Bryan Fyalkowski
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Sources say the newest PGA Tour-to-LIV Golf defector will be four-time major champion Brooks Koepka. The 32-year-old will join notable newcomers Abraham Ancer, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed in the upcoming event in Portland, Oregon, from June 30-July 2.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is holding firm in his decision to suspend any players who did not apply for and receive a waiver to compete in LIV Golf events. Koepka playing next week at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club would likely fall under that umbrella.

Koepka won back-to-back PGA Championships in 2018 and 2019, after winning back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2017 and 2018. He was the first player in golf history to hold back-to-back major championship victories simultaneously.

There is a documented on-course feud between Koepka and DeChambeau, and it seems that will continue with both players joining LIV Golf at the same time. Both are a good get for the upstart Saudi-backed venture, considering a talking point between the two is already in place going forward.

Koepka is buddies with LIV Golf’s biggest star, Dustin Johnson, and his brother, Chase, is also in the field. Brooks finished 55th at the U.S. Open and earned $39,432 in winnings, while Chase finished 33rd at LIV Golf’s inaugural event in London and got paid $150,000.

Koepka Pulls 180 From Comments Last Week

Just last week before the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club, Brooks Koepka was very defensive when asked questions about LIV Golf.

“I’m here at the U.S. Open,” Koepka said. “I’m ready to play the U.S. Open, and I think it kind of sucks, too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the U.S. Open. It’s one of my favorite events. I don’t know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give [LIV Golf], the more you keep talking about it.”

But less than a week later, here is Koepka joining the “dark side.” It is rumored that Johnson received a $150 million bonus for signing with LIV Golf, while Phil Mickelson got $200 million. At No. 19 in the World Golf Rankings, Koepka might get around that much for defecting from the PGA Tour.

There have been questions about whether LIV Golf is ethical to exist at all. The venture is backed by $2 billion from Saudi Arabia’s government’s Public Investment Fund, with no one knowing exactly how that money was collected. Overall, the nation has a record of despicable human rights violations and horrible treatment of marginalized groups, among other questionable acts and practices.

Essentially, the PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf choice is a question of guaranteed money versus earning your legacy. Koepka certainly has a legacy with four major championships, but he has not been playing well for a while now. Dealing with injuries and slumps, he has only won one tournament in the past 35 months.

Koepka is currently listed in the field for the PGA Tour’s upcoming Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

Outsider.com