Brooks Koepka is leaving the PGA Tour and joining Saudi Arabia’s controversial LIV Golf Series, according to reports.
The four-time major winner, 32, will become the latest big name to join the money spins tour, with the American set to be announced in the coming days along with compatriots Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed.
It also comes just a few months after Koepka, whose brother Chase is already signed up to LIV Golf, effectively labeled Phil Mickelson “greedy” for his potential involvement in the new tour that has stunned the golf world in recent weeks.
In particular, Koepka, who has won the US Open twice and the US PGA twice, removed ‘PGA Tour/Nike Athlete’ from his Twitter bio last night.
And ahead of last week’s US Open in Brookline, former World No. 1 Koepka hit back when asked about the Saudi-backed tour, insisting reporters were casting a “black cloud” over the tournament.
‘I don’t understand. I’m trying to focus on the US Open, man. I legitimately don’t get it. I’m tired of the talks. I’m tired of all this stuff,’ he said.
Koepka, according to The Telegraphwill be announced as a new member of the Series before the second event at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon next week.
Brooks Koepka leaves the PGA Tour and joins the controversial LIV Golf Series
Koepka effectively labeled Phil Mickelson (right) as “greedy” for his possible participation in the new tour in February.
Koepka after lifting the fourth of his four majors at the 2019 US PGA Championship – the 32-year-old earned $37.9 million in career prize money.
Speaking before the US Open last week, Koepka continued: “I’m here at the US Open, I’m ready to play the US Open, and I think it sucks too, everyone is throwing this black cloud over the US Open. It’s one of my favorite events. I don’t know why you guys keep doing that.
‘The more legs you give him, the more you keep talking about it.’
And in February, when Mickelson was criticizing the PGA Tour’s control of media rights as rumors swirled about his participation in the Saudi-backed tour, Koepka called out what he saw as hypocrisy from his fellow American.
Mickelson said: ‘They [PGA Tour] We also charge companies for using the shots I’ve hit. And when I did ‘The Match,’ there were five of them, the tour required me to pay them $1 million each time. For my own press rights. That kind of greed is, to me, more than unpleasant.
Koepka then responded to the quotes on Instagram saying, “I don’t know if I’d be using the word greedy if I were Phil.”
Mickelson came under fire when he took part in the first LIV Golf event in St Albans earlier this month.
According to the PGA Tour website, Koepka has earned $37.9 million in career prize money to date.
Players who signed up for the series have drawn criticism and have been widely condemned for human rights abuses committed by the Saudi regime.
Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are among the other stars who have signed up for LIV Golf and all played in the tour’s inaugural event at Centurion Club earlier this month, won by 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
Dustin Johnson was the highest-ranked name to play in LIV Golf’s inaugural event this month.
Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have also signed on for the controversial Saudi-backed tour.
On Monday, LIV Golf boss Greg Norman responded to critics of the Saudi-backed series, slamming the PGA Tour for its “deafening” hypocrisy.
The PGA Tour banned the unruly players with immediate effect moments after they played at Centurion earlier this month.
Meanwhile, famed US sportscaster Bob Costas described the huge checks offered to players (the first seven events have $20 million purses) as “blood money.”
Former World No. 1 Norman, 67, decided to speak out as the US Open drew to a close on Sunday.
‘I’m disappointed that people put that down [blood money] way, honestly,” Norman told Fox News.
LIV Golf boss Greg Norman has responded to critics of the Saudi-backed breakaway series
The 67-year-old pictured with inaugural LIV Golf Invitational winner Charl Schwartzel
‘Look, if you want to see it in prism, then why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing more than $40 billion worth of business with Saudi Arabia?
‘Why is it okay for sponsors? Why is it okay to have a Saudi sponsor, Aramco, the biggest sponsor of women’s golf in the world? Why is it okay for them? Why is it not okay for these players?
‘Will [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan go to each and every one of those CEOs of the 23 companies that are investing in Saudi Arabia and suspend and ban them?
‘The hypocrisy in all of this is so strong. It’s deafening.