Reports: Koepka joining Saudi-backed LIV Golf

Brooks Koepka plays his shot from the eighth tee during the second round of the US Open golf tournament at Brookline, Massachusetts, June 17, 2022. — John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Brooks Koepka plays his shot from the eighth tee during the second round of the US Open golf tournament at Brookline, Massachusetts, June 17, 2022. — John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Tuesday, 21 Jun 2022 11:44 PM MYT

LOS ANGELES, June 21 — Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka is set to become the latest star to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, media reports said today.

The 32-year-old American world number 19 is expected to make his debut on the lucrative circuit at its maiden US event in Oregon next week.

Koepka’s management team did not immediately respond when contacted by AFP today.

But multiple reports in Britain and the United States said Koepka — who removed “PGA Tour” from his Twitter profile yesterday — will follow the likes of Dustin Johnson and six-time major-winner Phil Mickelson by joining LIV.

The upstart series, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has plunged the golf world into turmoil since its emergence.

The circuit, which launched in Britain earlier this month, offers some of the richest purses in golf tournament history, with US$25 million (RM110 million) on offer at each of its events — roughly double the prize money of other majors.

LIV Golf has drawn stinging criticism from human rights groups, which say the series is an attempt to boost the kingdom’s image through sport.

The PGA Tour has adopted a zero-tolerance stance towards the series, with commissioner Jay Monahan suspending 17 former or current tour players for making the switch.

ESPN and Golf.com reported today that Mexico’s world number 20 Abraham Ancer is also set to join LIV Golf.

If Koepka and Ancer’s defections to the tour are confirmed, it will mean eight of the world’s top 50 players are now part of LIV Golf. — AFP

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