The PGA Tour does not give appearance fees or guarantee any money to its players. The LIV Golf Invitational Series is paying out hundreds of millions to players simply to compete on the Tour – and that’s not even including the much bigger purses on the LIV Series than on the PGA Tour. Another big-name player has officially jumped ship in four-time major champion Brooks Koepka. And it had been rumored that another major winner, Collin Morikawa, would follow – although his agent has denied it and Morikawa himself tweeted Tuesday morning that he’s staying.
Koepka, who is ranked 19th in the world, is expected to compete in the first LIV Golf event in the United States at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Ore., Starting next Thursday (the PGA Tour event then is the John Deere Classic). That’s also when Bryson DeChambeau is expected to make his LIV debut – of course, Koepka and DeChambeau have a well-known feud going, although some think that was manufactured, and they faced off in one of those Match events last year.
Koepka has won eight times on the PGA Tour, including twice at the US Open and twice at the PGA Championship. He won’t be seen again on that Tour until next month’s British Open at St. Andrews, where Koepka is +3500 to win at Caesars Sportsbook.
At last week’s US Open, Koepka was asked about the LIV Series and if there was a monetary figure that would make him consider leaving the PGA Tour, and he said he “hadn’t given it that much thought” while accusing media members of putting a black cloud over the US Open by talking so much about the LIV Series. In 14 stroke-play event starts this season, the 32-year-old Koepka has just one top-10 finish (WM Phoenix Open). His younger brother Chase played at the LIV Golf London event earlier this month and earned $ 150,000 for finishing 33rd.
Like Koepka, Morikawa has scrubbed his social media bios of any references to the PGA Tour, leading to much speculation. Morikawa is the fourth-ranked player in the world and would be the highest-ranked currently to join the LIV Series. He is the defending champion of the British Open and +1800 to repeat. Morikawa’s agent, though, says rumors his client is going to LIV are “categorically false.” Morikawa said in one of his tweets on Tuesday that “nothing has changed.”
While all of the newly-committed LIV players are being suspended by the PGA Tour, they will still be able to play in major championships.
It has been confirmed that Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, the 20th-ranked player in the world who withdrew from the US Open last week, is leaving for the LIV Series as well.
More golf news: Nick Faldo, who has helped call golf tournaments for CBS Sports alongside Jim Nantz for years, plans to step down from his role as the lead analyst in August. He will be replaced by Trevor Immelman.
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