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Brooks Koepka Leaving PGA Tour for Saudi-Backed LIV Golf


Brooks Koepka | Image by Getty Images

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Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka will become the latest golfer to leave the PGA Tour and join the rival LIV Golf Invitational Series, according to reports.

The 32-year-old Koepka will be one of the highest-profile players to join LIV Golf, which is financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

In 2019, Koepka became the first player in history to earn back-to-back victories in two major championships; he won the U.S. Open in 2017-18 and the PGA Championship in 2018-19.

Koepka was ranked the No.1 player in the world for 47 weeks, but recent injuries to his back, hip, and wrist caused a downturn in his performance. Koepka has two top-10s in 15 starts, but he has fared poorly in the first three majors this season. He missed the cut at the Masters, tied for 55th at the PGA Championship, and finished 55th in last week’s U.S. Open.

The addition of Koepka to the LIV Golf roster is expected to be officially announced in the coming days. Koepka, ranked 19th in the world, will likely compete in the LIV Golf’s first U.S. event, which begins June 30 in Portland, Oregon.

Abraham Ancer, ranked 20th in the world, is also leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf, according to reports.

Ancer, a dual citizen of Mexico and the U.S., played college golf at Oklahoma. Last August, he claimed his first and only PGA Tour victory at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, though he earned top 10 finishes in the past two PGA Championships, including a tie for ninth last month. Ancer pulled out of last week’s U.S. Open at the last minute, citing illness.

LIV Golf now has eight of the world’s top 50 players on its roster, including Dustin Johnson (ranked 16th), Bryson DeChambeau (ranked 30th), and Patrick Reed (ranked 38th).

Koepka is longtime friends with Johnson and his brother, Chase Koepka, who competed in LIV Golf’s debut event outside of London.

Johnson was paid a reported $125 million and DeChambeau, $100 million. The amount Koepka is being paid is unknown now, but it is expected to be at least double, or possibly triple, the $37.9 million in career prize money earned to date on the PGA Tour.

Last week, Koepka criticized reporters for casting a “black cloud” over the U.S. Open with questions about LIV Golf.

“I’m here at the U.S. Open,” he 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.”

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan held a mandatory player meeting on Tuesday at the Travelers Championship to discuss, among other things, a condensed fall schedule and an increase in purses, which could be considered an apparent reaction to LIV Golf.

Monahan suspended all 17 PGA Tour member players who played in the first LIV event outside of London, and he is expected to do the same for Koepka and Ancer if they tee it up next week in Portland.     

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14 days ago

I don’t get it. Why can’t golfers play in both the PGA and LIV? Football, baseball and basketball players are allowed to play in other leagues in the off season.

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