Brooks Koepka joins LIV Golf: Four-time major winner drops PGA Tour, links with Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka is golf’s latest star to spurn the PGA Tour for LIV Golf. In doing so, Koepka has joined Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson as the biggest names to join the rival Saudi Arabia-backed tour.

Multiple reports indicated that Koepka would be the next big star to join the tour earlier in the week, and the news was made official by LIV Golf on Wednesday.

The timing of the announcement was notable as it came in the middle of a press conference held by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who was providing insight into some adjustments the PGA Tour has made to its schedule, namely increases to the purses and payouts for notable events in 2023 and beyond.

According to the Telegraph, Koepka received a similar seven-figure deal as the ones received by Mickelson, DeChambeau and Johnson when they jumped over.

Koepka is now the second-highest ranked player to have joined the league. Johnson is currently ranked No. 16 in the Official World Golf Rankings, while Koepka is three spots behind him at No. 19.

Koepka’s move could be foreshadowing of more to come. Rumors coursed the veins of the the 2022 U.S. Open at Brookline last week, suggesting Koepka will not be the last name announced ahead of the LIV Golf event set to be hosted in Portland next week. In fact, one-time PGA Tour winner Abraham Ancer also announced for LIV Golf this week, and there may be another top 20 player in the world to be announced.

Koepka’s brother, Chase, was part of the first event in London at the Centurion Club, and that factors in to all of this.

Last week at the U.S. Open, Koepka was not pleased with the line of questioning he received about LIV, but he was not adamant about his commitment to the PGA Tour, either. In retrospect, it was easy to see this coming (heck, in the moment it was easy to see it coming).

“There’s been no other option to this point, so where else are you going to go?” he asked.

When pushed about LIV, Koepka got defensive.

“As of last week,” he said. “That’s it. I wasn’t playing last week. I’m here. I’m here at the U.S. Open. I’m ready to play 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 it, the more you keep talking about it.”

He brushed back even harder as the press conference wore on.

“I don’t understand,” he said. “I’m trying to focus on the U.S. Open, man. I legitimately don’t get it. I’m tired of the conversations. I’m tired of all this stuff. Like I said, y’all are throwing a black cloud on the U.S. Open. I think that sucks. I actually do feel bad for them for once because it’s a shitty situation. We’re here to play, and you are talking about an event that happened last week.”

With Koepka’s departure, LIV has rounded up all the PGA Tour villains. DeChambeau, Reed, Koepka and even players like Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter have all at some point in their careers been considered antiheroes. It has created an interesting good vs. bad dynamic between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, which is among the several dozen interesting storylines as the future of professional golf continues to be redefined.

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