Cromwell, Connecticut. Brooks Koepka’s departure from the PGA Tour for LIV Golf came as a shock to many.
Koepka withdrew from the Traveler Championship on Tuesday night and officially became a new player at LIV Golf on Wednesday. However, Koepka always pretended that he would never go in that direction.
“It’s been clear for a long time that I’m on the PGA Tour, this is where I’m going to stay,” Kepka said at the WM Phoenix Open week. “I’m very happy. I think they’re doing everything right. The people I want to deal with. I’m happy to be here. And I don’t really talk about it with a lot of other players. A couple of questions, but I trust them.”
But a few months later, as the sport plunged into the saga surrounding the recent launch of the LIV Golf, Kepka, a four-time major tournament winner, went back on his word.
“I’m surprised (Kepka is gone)? Yes, because of what he said earlier,” Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday at TPC River Highlands. “I think that’s why I’m surprised by a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another and I don’t get it and I don’t know if it’s for legal reasons or they can’t – I have no idea. But it’s rather duplicitous of them to say one thing and do another.”
Last week in Brooklyn, Koepka was visibly irritated by questions surrounding the LIV Golf, saying that he was only focused on the US Open and that the media was throwing a “black cloud” over the championship.
Masters champion Scotty Sheffler, like McIlroy, believed Kopka was true to his word based on a recent conversation.
“The cap goes out of [PGA Tour], was definitely a surprise to me,” Scheffler said on Wednesday. – I was with him at an event last week and he definitely didn’t mean it. We’ve been focused on getting the PGA Tour going and getting the guys that are here to just talk and figure out how we can help the tour. So Brooks’ departure definitely came as a surprise to us.
“With that said, he made his decision. I’m not going to beat him for it. He made a decision that is best for him and I’m not going to judge him for that.”
Full start time for the Travelers Championship
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan held a press conference Wednesday at 1pm at the TPC River Highlands. When asked about Kepka’s decision, Monahan said nothing was official and that he spoke to Kepka as recently as Monday, adding, “He was a wonderful and amazing player on the PGA Tour and I hope it continues.” .
But the official announcement from LIV Golf that Cap would be joining the circuit came six minutes after Monahan’s press conference. And when the reporter brought this to Monahan’s attention, he was more disappointed than shocked.
“To every player left, I want to say that I have a lot of admiration and respect for the contribution they made to the PGA Tour,” he said. “And I am disappointed that Brooks Koepka has left and joined the LIV Golf series. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about this and I’m looking forward to talking to him, but I’m not going to share anything more than this at this point in time.”