Koepka joins LIV Golf as Morikawa rejects move rumours


Brooks Koepka has left the PGA Tour and joined the rebel LIV Golf Series in a reported $150m deal, but Collin Morikawa has reiterated his commitment to the tour.

Koepka, a four-time Major champion and eight-time PGA Tour winner, is expected to tee it up in LIV’s next event in Portland, USA, next week.

The move will see the 32-year-old playing alongside his brother, Chase, who joined LIV ahead of its inaugural event in London. It will also allow Koepka to renew his rivalry with Bryson DeChambeau, with the two Major champions famously feuding over the last couple of years.

Brooks Koepka is a four-time Major champion.

The former World No.1’s move does not come as a huge surprise. He has never been overly enamoured with life on the PGA Tour and has frequently stated that his focus is on winning more of golf’s four Majors rather than playing regularly in or winning weekly tour events.

While he has four Major titles – two US PGAs and two US Opens – he actually only has another four PGA Tour wins, two of which came at the Phoenix Open, one of the few tournaments he regularly plays.

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The American is believed to have been in talks with LIV’s representatives for months, with rumours gathering pace that he would be the next big name to join after the inaugural London event. Koepka, who spent 42 weeks at the top of the world rankings, added fuel to the fire at last week’s US Open when he reacted angrily at journalists questioning him about the potential move.

“I’m here at the US Open,” the World No.19 said at Brookline. “I’m ready to play US Open, and I think it kind of sucks, too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the US Open. It’s one of my favourite events. I don’t know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give it, the more you keep talking about it. Y’all are throwing a black cloud over the US Open, and I think that sucks.”

Four-time Major champion Brooks Koepka is a Srixon and Cleveland Golf Tour Staff player.

The American, who finished 55th at Brookline, then removed references to being a PGA Tour and Nike athlete from his Twitter bio this week, before his LIV Golf move was confirmed. The money involved in his move to the rebel series has yet to be revealed but, based on the seven-figure sums LIV have paid to the likes of Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and DeChambeau, it is unlikely that Koepka will have been paid less.

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It is not yet known how it will impact his equipment deal with Srixon/Cleveland, who he joined at the start of the season, or his role as a Nike athlete.

Koepka, who married long-time girlfriend Jena Sims earlier this month, withdrew from this week’s Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour but is yet to officially resign his membership. Players joining LIV Golf are suspended as soon as they hit a ball in the rival series’ events, but the next event doesn’t start until next Thursday.

“There’s no understating the impact that Brooks Koepka has had on the game of golf in the last five years,” said Greg Norman, LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner. “He carries a championship pedigree and record of success as one of the most elite players in the world.

“The addition of Brooks is yet another example of the incredible fields LIV Golf is assembling as we build momentum in our first season and look towards the future.”

If a suspension does follow, he will still be able to play in the Majors but it is another blow to the US Ryder Cup team who won’t be able to call on the big-hitting star’s services for their defence in Italy next year, unless the rules change.

Team USA has already lost Johnson, DeChambeau, Mickelson, and Patrick Reed.

The move is bad news for the PGA and DP World Tours, following a fortnight of positive stories with Rory McIlroy’s win at the Canadian Open, Linn Grant’s win at the Scandinavian Mixed, and Matt Fitzpatrick’s victory at a dramatic US Open.

Abraham Ancer becoming the first Mexican to win a WGC event.

World No.20 Abraham Ancer (above) announced he was joining LIV Golf on Tuesday (Jun 21), and things could get worse if rumours are to be believed, with Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele and Matt Wolff all believed to be considering a move.

However, Collin Morikawa, who was heavily linked with a shock move over the weekend has ruled himself out. The two-time Major champion, who will defend his Open title at St Andrews, responded to the media reports in a tweet, which said: “To state for the record, once again, you all are absolutely wrong. I’ve said it since February at Riviera that I’m here to stay on the @PGATOUR and nothing has changed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some cereal to pour in my milk”

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