In 2019, when Brooks Koepka led the wire at the PGA Championships in Bethpage Black and won his fourth major title in 23 months, he broke down why he believed he had become the most dominant player on the biggest golf stages.
“(There’s) 156 on the field,” he said, “so you think at least 80 of them, I just win. From there, you think about half of them don’t play well. So you’re left behind. Maybe about 35- And then from the age of 35, some of them just … start to put pressure on it. It only leaves you with a few more and you just have to beat those guys. “
Koepka, a native of Palm Beach County and a resident of Jupiter, has recently become one of the men others believe, “I’m just hitting.” Koepka, who is not a factor in this year’s major competition and has rarely competed in the last year, is leaving the PGA Tour to join Greg Norman’s LIV golf series, whether it’s injury, wedding planning interruptions or just past his peak. .
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Brooks Koepka notice to leave PGA Tourist LIV Golf
The announcement came on Wednesday after Koepka gave up the Travelers Championship late Tuesday night.
Koepka, 32, is a major achievement in a Saudi-sponsored series seeking credibility and attention, with events shown on YouTube because it doesn’t have a television contract. The first LIV event in London two weeks ago was attended by just two needle players, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Add Bryson DeChambeau and Koepka to next week’s event at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club outside of Portland, Oregon, and now it has four.
But it doesn’t matter to the approximately 20 players who have left the PGA Tour and others who are struggling to find their way into the world of professional golf.
Why do other golfers join Liv Golf?
All that matters is the checks they receive in their accounts. All from Charl Schwartzel of Palm Beach Gardens, who won $ 4.75 million for winning an individual title and being part of the London winning team; Andy Ogletree, who took home $ 120,000 in prize money for shooting over 24 and finishing last in the 48-man field, is in the LIV for one reason.
For two decades, Schwartzel never won $ 3 million a year, including in 2011 when he won the Masters. Ogeltree’s career income from playing on tour for four years is $ 38,186.
Koepka’s decision is definitely related to the fact that he will add to the $ 38 million in prize money he has earned during his career, plus millions more off the course. It also gives a glimpse into the minds of a golfer who was once considered one of the world’s runners-up for 47 weeks and who was feared as much in recent history as anyone not named Tiger Woods. for the big ones.
Now Koepka has done something quite the opposite of what he had become known on the biggest stages of golf – the champion of steel, laser-focused super competitions.
He has run out of races.
Injuries have certainly played a part in his struggles, but he has been dealing with them for several years, whether on the wrist, knee or hip. Koepka may not be able to handle his body simply without being allowed to be in constant danger on the PGA Tour.
Or maybe he’s seen a group of talented players in his 20s, all about five years younger than Koepka, making a difference in the sport. Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Sam Burns, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Will Zalatoris have all zoomed out of the world.
What happened to Brooks Koepka, who said just four months ago that it was “embarrassing” to be ranked No. 20 in the world? He is currently No. 19.
Old Brooks Koepka would have taken up the challenge, pulled out the map of disrespect he used so well at the four major championships in eight starts, and restored his status as one of the best in the world.
Brooks Koepka earns millions on LIV golf events
Koepka is now taking easy money – likely to earn around $ 100 million to join the series – to play in eight LIV tournaments (the series is expected to expand next year) and any other tournaments waiting for LIV golfers.
It is, of course, his right, but it is he who must accept the reaction to join the league backed by Saudi money. And knowing Koepka like many of us, he certainly doesn’t care about setbacks.
But Koepka no longer plays against the best in the world, except maybe a couple of big tournaments every year, and that too could be taken away. He has to accept that too.
It is certain that Koepka would not have gone that route two or three years ago if there was mystique in his game.
And no one outside of Mickelson has done worse than Koepka. He will be remembered forever for calling Mickelson out of his “greed” comment, saying that LIV will get their boys because “someone is selling and going to it,” and insisting that money doesn’t matter and “I just want play against the best.
On Wednesday, Rory McIlroy, who has been as vocal as anyone else for his loyalty to the PGA Tour, said he was surprised by Koepka’s decision to call it “two-faced” for what he had said before.
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as it prepares for the second event
But now he can’t play PGA Tour events, including his hometown Honda Classic, which, to Koepka’s credit, was scheduled to take place every year. The best golfer ever born and raised in Palm Beach County is leaving the best and most competitive league in his sport. Of course, his four major disciplines were historical, which he will be – and should be – proud of for the rest of his life.
These trophies still shine while sitting on Koepka’s bookshelves. It is his reputation that has been damaged.
Tom D’Angelo is a journalist for the Palm Beach Post. You can contact him at [email protected]
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