Brooks Koepka had no interest in the topic du jour.
He might have thought he’s be spared from commenting on Tuesday at the U.S. Open in Brookline, Mass., but his take on all things Saudi golf league wasn’t getting past question No. 11. His brother, Chase, played in the first LIV Golf Invitational Series, a reporter pointed out, and what were his thoughts on the current landscape of professional golf?
“Obviously, LIV is trying to make a big push for golf,” Koepka said. “Look, I mean, I love my brother. I support him in anything he does. It’s family. I’ll always love and support him. Whatever he does, I’m cheering for him.”
Pressed on the issue, Koepka wasn’t interested in discussing it much further. He also accused the media (twice) of putting a “black cloud” over the U.S. Open by using player press conferences to ask them about the new Saudi-backed golf league, which completed its first event on Saturday in England.
“I’m here. I’m here at the U.S. Open,” said Koepka, who won the national championship twice. “I’m ready to play U.S. Open, and I think it kind of sucks, too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the U.S. Open. It’s one of my favorite events. I don’t know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give it, the more you keep talking about it.” (Collin Morikawa, who met with the media after Koepka, also called the LIV chatter a distraction.)
On Monday, Phil Mickelson was unsurprisingly peppered with questions about LIV Golf, of which he has become the de facto face. Earlier on Tuesday, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy were asked similar questions about the disarray in the pro game. McIlroy called it “the right thing to do” to emerge as the game’s most prominent pro-PGA Tour spokesperson. Rahm provided one of the most thorough and thoughtful defenses of staying on the PGA Tour.
“Truth be told, I could retire right now with what I’ve made and live a very happy life and not play golf again,” Rahm said, in one of his comments. “So I’ve never really played the game of golf for monetary reasons. I play for the love of the game, and I want to play against the best in the world. I’ve always been interested in history and legacy, and right now the PGA Tour has that.”
Koepka was asked if the new league was appealing to him, due to the fact that he could enter less events and still (assuming it doesn’t change) play the majors, which he has long said are really the only things that matter to him.
“I can come out here and play as little weeks as I want,” he said. “I choose my own schedule regardless what tour I play.”
The lighter schedule has attracted some pros to LIV, but money has always been king — in business, in life, in pro golf. Some players have reportedly accepted enormous deals to join. Koepka, when asked, said he hadn’t given too much thought of a number that might be enough to convince him to make the move.
“Really?” a reporter responded.
“I don’t understand. I’m trying to focus on the U.S. Open, man,” he said. “I legitimately don’t get it. I’m tired of the conversations. I’m tired of all this stuff. Like I said, y’all are throwing a black cloud on the U.S. Open. I think that sucks. I actually do feel bad for them for once because it’s a sh—y situation. We’re here to play, and you are talking about an event that happened last week.”
Told there’s events coming in the near future, Koepka added: “I know, but you can’t drive a car looking in the rearview mirror, can you?”
The press conference ended. The divide in golf won’t anytime soon.