BROOKLINE — Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka took a much different route than others while addressing the ongoing situation of golfers leaving the PGA Tour for the controversial LIV Invitational Golf Series.
Unlike his PGA-committed counterparts Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, Koepka lashed out at the media Tuesday after receiving questions about LIV. He also kept the door wide open for what now might be viewed as an inevitable departure from the Tour.
Koepka, 32, allowed those feelings to marinate based on his response when asked why he remains with the PGA Tour, and whether it is a permanent decision.
“There’s been no other option to this point, so where else are you going to go?” Koepka said.
It was then acknowledged how LIV exists. Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and others, after all, officially joined the league backed by Saudi Arabian investments last week and the inaugural tournament was held in London over the weekend.
“As of last week. That’s it. I wasn’t playing last week,” Koepka said.
LIV is widely regarded as a money grab for professional golfers. It is backed by Saudi Arabian finances with massive purses attracting those looking for a payday. Mickelson reportedly was granted $200 million for joining LIV and the winner of the debut tournament received just shy of $5 million after this weekend’s 56-hole event.
Koepka was asked whether there was a specific amount of money that would attract him to LIV, and the question, like others, did not sit well.
“I haven’t given it that much — I haven’t given it that much thought,” Koepka said. “I don’t understand. 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.”
All told, it certainly was far from a declaration that Koepka, whose brother Chase already has joined LIV, would remain on the PGA Tour.
A number of those who have committed to LIV — Mickelson, Johnson, etc. — still will take part in the 2022 U.S. Open this week with the first round set for Thursday. You can follow along throughout the week with NESN?s coverage from Brookline here.