What was behind Brooks Koepka’s determination to go away the PGA Tour for LIV Golf?

In 2019, the week Brooks Koepka would lead wire-to-wire on the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black and seize a fourth main title in 23 months, he broke down why he believed he’d grow to be essentially the most dominant participant on golf’s largest phases.

“(There are) 156 within the discipline,” he stated, “so you work not less than 80 of them I am simply going to beat. From there you work about half of them will not play effectively. So that you’re all the way down to about perhaps 35. After which from 35, a few of them simply … strain goes to get to them. It solely leaves you with a number of extra, and you have simply bought to beat these guys. “

Koepka, the Palm Seaside County native and Jupiter resident, lately has grow to be a type of guys others imagine, “I am simply going to beat.” A non-factor on this yr’s majors and barely in rivalry within the final yr, Koepka, whether or not due to accidents, the distraction of planning a marriage or perhaps simply being previous his peak, is leaving the PGA Tour to hitch Greg Norman’s LIV Golf Sequence.

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Brooks Koepka’s announcement to go away PGA Tour for LIV Golf

The announcement got here Wednesday, after Koepka withdrew from the Vacationers Championship late Tuesday.

Koepka, at 32, is an enormous get for the Saudi-backed sequence looking for credibility and a focus, one whose occasions are proven on YouTube as a result of it doesn’t have a tv deal. LIV’s first occasion two weeks in the past in London featured simply two golfers who transfer the needle, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Add Bryson DeChambeau and Koepka for subsequent week’s occasion at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Membership outdoors of Portland, Oregon, and now it has 4.

However none of that issues to the 20 or so gamers who’ve defected from the PGA Tour and others who’re struggling to seek out their footing on the earth {of professional} golf.

Why different golf gamers are becoming a member of Liv Golf

All that issues are the checks hitting their accounts. Everybody from Palm Seaside Gardens’ Charl Schwartzel, who received $ 4.75 million for successful the person title and being part of the successful group in London; to Andy Ogletree, who took house $ 120,000 in prize cash for capturing 24-over and ending final within the 48-man-field, is in LIV for one cause.

In 20 years as a professional, Schwartzel by no means received $ 3 million in a yr, together with 2011 when he received the Masters. Ogletree’s profession earnings in 4 years of enjoying tour occasions is $ 38,186.

Koepka’s determination definitely has to do with including to that $ 38 million he is earned in prize cash, plus hundreds of thousands extra off the course, in his profession. It additionally offers us a peek into the thoughts of a golfer who at one time was thought of amongst golf’s royalty, held the No. 1 rating on the earth for 47 weeks and was as feared as anybody not named Tiger Woods in latest historical past relating to the majors.

Brooks Koepka, enjoying his shot from the tenth tee in the course of the second spherical of the PGA Championship final month in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is more likely to get round $ 100 million to hitch the LIV sequence.

Now, Koepka has finished one thing utterly reverse of what he had grow to be identified for on golf’s largest phases – a steely, laser-like centered, ultra-competitive champion.

He has run from the competitors.

Accidents definitely have performed a consider his struggles, however he is been coping with these – whether or not it’s his wrist, knee, hip – for a number of years now. Maybe Koepka simply can’t deal with his physique not permitting him to be a constant risk on the PGA Tour.

Or maybe he is seen a gaggle of gifted gamers of their 20s – all about 5 years youthful than Koepka – making their mark within the sport. Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Sam Burns, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Will Zalatoris all have zoomed previous Koepka on the earth rankings.

What occurred to the Brooks Koepka who stated simply 4 months in the past it was “embarrassing” to be ranked no. 20 on the earth? Presently he’s No. 19.

The previous Brooks Koepka would have taken on that problem, pulled out the disrespect card he used so effectively throughout his run of 4 main championships in eight begins, and re-established his standing among the many greatest on the earth.

Brooks Koepka stands to make hundreds of thousands with LIV golf occasions

Brooks Koepka, talking before the PGA Championship in May, made it official Wednesday that he's joining the LIV Tour.

Brooks Koepka, speaking earlier than the PGA Championship in Could, made it official Wednesday that he is becoming a member of the LIV Tour.

Now, Koepka is taking the simple cash he— he’s probably receiving within the neighborhood of $ 100 million to hitch the sequence ⁠— to play the subsequent seven LIV occasions (the sequence is hoping to broaden subsequent yr) and no matter different tournaments will welcome LIV golfers.

All this, in fact, is his proper, however he’s the one who has to just accept the backlash for becoming a member of a league backed by Saudi cash. And realizing Koepka as many people do, he definitely doesn’t care concerning the blowback.

However Koepka not will likely be enjoying in opposition to one of the best on the earth, with the doable exception of some majors annually, and even that could be taken away. That, too, he has to just accept.

This a lot is for certain, Koepka wouldn’t have taken this path two or three years in the past when there was a mystique to his recreation.

And nobody outdoors of Mickelson has dealt with this determination worse than Koepka. He’ll without end be remembered for calling out Mickelson for his “greed” remark, saying LIV would get their guys as a result of “anyone will promote out and go to it,” and insisting cash would not matter and “I simply need to play in opposition to one of the best. “

On Wednesday, Rory McIlroy, who has been as vocal as anybody in his loyalty to the PGA Tour, stated he was shocked with Koepka’s determination, calling it “duplicitous” due to “what he stated beforehand.”

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However now he’s unable to play PGA Tour occasions, together with his hometown Honda Traditional, which, to Koepka’s credit score, was on his schedule yearly. The most effective golfer ever born and bred in Palm Seaside County is leaving one of the best, best league in his sport. Positive, his 4 majors have been historic, one thing he will likely be and— and ought to be ⁠— pleased with the remainder of his life.

These trophies nonetheless shine sitting on Koepka’s bookshelves. It is his status that has been tarnished.

Tom D’Angelo is a journalist on the Palm Seaside Put up. You possibly can attain him at tdangelo@pbpost.com.

This text initially appeared on Palm Seaside Put up: Brooks Koepka operating from PGA Tour for LIV Golf Sequence cash

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