Brooks Koepka has joined Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson in the LIV Golf league, according to multiple outlets.
The four-time major champion is arguably the highest-profile player to join the Saudi Arabian-backed league, and he gives LIV even more momentum as the PGA Tour attempts to rally the troops at the Travelers Championship this week. There is a players-only meeting on Tuesday, and it is believed that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan will speak on Wednesday.
According to one report, Koepka received the seven-figure deal Mickelson, DeChambeau and Johnson all reportedly signed for when they jumped over. Koepka is 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 ranked No. 19.
It could be foreshadowing of more to come, too. Rumors on rumors on rumors coursed the veins of the third major of the year at Brookline last week, and Koepka is not the last name to be announced. In fact, he’s almost certainly not the last 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 also not adamant about his commitment to the PGA Tour. 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 was even more defensive later in the press conference.
“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 sh—y 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.