‘I’ve basically given up on him’: Brooks Koepka castigates LIV Golf teammate

Brooks Koepka, Matthew Wolff

'I've basically given up on him': Brooks Koepka castigates LIV Golf teammate.

Getty Images / Illustration by Braden Reed

Brooks Koepka says he’s given up on a LIV Golf teammate.   

In a story published Thursday by Sports Illustrated, Koepka was critical of Matthew Wolff, questioning his competitiveness. The comments were a rare occurrence of one golfer publicly criticizing another, though somewhat commonplace in a team format, which LIV employs —  both golfers play for Smash GC, where Koepka is the captain.  

“I mean, when you quit on your round, you give up and stuff like that, that’s not competing,” Koepka told Sports Illustrated, ahead of LIV’s event this week in England. “I’m not a big fan of that. You don’t work hard. It’s very tough. It’s very tough to have even like a team dynamic when you’ve got one guy that won’t work, one guy is not going to give any effort, he’s going to quit on the course, break clubs, gets down, bad body language, it’s very tough. 

“I’ve basically given up on him. A lot of talent, but I mean the talent’s wasted.”

Over eight LIV events, Wolff’s year has been up (finishes of 10th out of 48 golfers, 12th and fifth), then down (44th, 41st, 34th, WD, 44th). As first reported by No Laying Up, Wolff’s social media handles were scrubbed off the Smash team pages after the WD, which came before the final round at LIV’s Washington, D.C., event.

On Friday, Wolff is scheduled to play with Koepka’s younger brother, Chase, and Jason Kokrak, who are his other two teammates. 

“I’m here, you know, trying to do what I can to play the best round of golf and that’s going to help the team,” Wolff told Sports Illustrated. “I’m just here to focus on myself and try to play some good golf and that’s what everyone’s really trying to do, because golf is trying to put the best score up and then if that helps your team, it’s great.”

Wolff, who has missed time in the past due to mental health concerns, joined the year-old LIV series after its second event in 2022, following play across four seasons on the PGA Tour. As a member of the Phil Mickelson-captained HyFlyers, he finished eighth, second, 14th, 17th, 44th and fifth in events. 

Wolff’s season highlight may have come when LIV played in May in Tulsa, about an hour east of Oklahoma State, where he played his college golf. 

“Yeah, I’d say like Oklahoma for me kind of feels like — if not really where I felt like my first home was, definitely my second one now,” the 24-year-old from California said ahead of the tournament. “I live in Jupiter, but every time I come back here, it’s a close-knit family here. I feel like the Oklahoma State family in general is just really tight, and there’s going to be a lot of people out here from that and supporting that.

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“We’ve got, I think, five or six Oklahoma State Cowboys in the field, so hopefully they come out and bias me more than them. But it’ll be a lot of fun to be back here, and I’m excited to tee it up with these guys.”

Koepka’s criticism also comes amidst a stunning agreement among the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund — which bankrolls LIV. They will operate a new, for-profit enterprise and end pending litigation among the sides, though it’s unclear what will happen with LIV.

When asked last week if he would consider returning to the PGA Tour, Koepka responded in this way:

“I’ve been pretty happy with my decision to be here at LIV. I’ve enjoyed it. I’m not going to speak for everybody else, but I would say everybody is pretty excited, and everybody is pretty happy with where they’re at right now. It’s tough to look into the future and say — I don’t have any control over what other guys do, but I know I’m happy where I’m at right now, and just take it one day at a time.”

Editor’s note: To read the complete Sports Illustrated story, please click here

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