Advertisement
Share

Brooks Koepka, who once denounced LIV Golf, reportedly joins Saudi-funded series

A man with a golf club watches his shot.
Brooks Koepka watches his shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday. Koepka is reportedly joining Phil Mickelson and several other prominent names in the LIV Golf series.
(Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press)

Brooks Koepka, one of the first players to denounce a rival league for having only 48 players, is the latest PGA Tour player to sign on with the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series, the Associated Press has learned.

A person briefed on Koepka’s decision told the AP he still would be able to compete on the PGA Tour until he hits a shot on the LIV Golf circuit. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the tour.

The Daily Telegraph in Britain first reported Koepka’s decision.

Koepka remained in the field for the Travelers Championship, though he was not at a player meeting Tuesday morning at the TPC River Highlands. The next LIV Golf event starts June 30 outside Portland, Ore.

Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and others couldn’t resist the staggering paydays promised by the LIV Golf series, and the PGA Tour takes the threat seriously.

Koepka was the second player, behind Rory McIlroy, who speak out against a rival league in March 2020 when he told the AP: “I have a hard time believing golf should be about just 48 players.”

“Money isn’t going to change my life,” Koepka said at the time.

The proposed rival league was different from LIV Golf, presented as the “Premier Golf League,” though still relying on Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Greg Norman and LIV Golf took the idea of 48-man fields, no cuts with a team component.

Advertisement

LIV Golf has not announced Koepka’s signing amid speculation that a few others are soon to join. ESPN Deportes reported over the weekend that Abraham Ancer of Mexico also was signing. Ancer is No. 20 in the world with one PGA Tour victory.

Phil Mickelson says he earned a lifetime PGA Tour membership and the tour shouldn’t be able to ban him because he’s playing in a new Saudi-backed league.

Koepka gives LIV Golf a big name with his four major titles — back-to-back in the U.S. Open (2017-18) and PGA Championship (2018-19) — though his game has been in decline since then because of a series of injuries.

His last victory was the Phoenix Open in February 2021 and he has fallen to No. 19 in the world. In the majors this year, he missed the cut at the Masters and has finished out of the top 50 in the PGA Championship and U.S. Open.


Advertisement