Koepka: Players not divided despite uncertainty

Koepka: Players not divided despite uncertainty

HOYLAKE, England — Brooks Koepka, searching for his first Open Championship win and sixth major as talk of the PGA Tour’s framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia hangs in the air, said Tuesday there’s no division between him and other players who did not go to LIV Golf.

“I think everybody thinks just because there’s a divide with LIV and the PGA Tour that the players are actually divided,” said Koepka, a five-time major champion. “I don’t think that’s the case at all.”

Koepka has a particularly friendly relationship with Rory McIlroy, who has spearheaded the pro-PGA Tour movement over the past year and recently said he would rather retire than play with LIV.

“If LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on Earth, I would retire. That’s how I feel about it,” McIlroy said at the Scottish Open last week. “I’d play the majors, but I’d be pretty comfortable.”

Though separated by the decisions they made last year, Koepka said he and McIlroy often practice and spend time together.

“We’ve always been friends,” Koepka said. “And he’s told me some stuff that’s gone on with him that I really appreciate. He’s opened up.”

The friendship between two players who have combined to win nine majors stands in stark contrast to some of the early animosity that surrounded players’ decisions to leave for LIV. Koepka once again reiterated Tuesday that he has no regrets, but he did say that, as a soon-to-be father, he did not make his decision to leave the PGA Tour based on potential financial flexibility and the ability to spend time with his family.

“My job has nothing to do with my family,” Koepka said.

The 2023 PGA Championship winner was not interested in dealing in what-ifs and hypotheticals about what will happen to LIV Golf or the golf world in general as the framework agreement between the two parties remains unsolved. Koepka did say that, though he expected some sort of coming together of both parties eventually, he was surprised by the timing of the deal.

“I hear the news. I see the news. There’s a lot of — I don’t want to say the rumors. Maybe not everything is true, maybe this, maybe that,” Koepka said. “There’s a lot of different scenarios. But it really doesn’t matter until everything is definite.”

When asked whether he thought LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman — who, according to documents released by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, was trying to be forced out by PGA Tour officials — has done a good job managing everything, Koepka opted for a characteristically tepid response.

“I think he’s done fine,” he said. “For everybody else, it’s up to them. Everybody is allowed to interpret it different ways.”

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