Rory McIlroy on Brooks Koepka, LIV defectors: ‘They say one thing and then they do another’

Rory McIlroy was asked about players leaving the PGA Tour during his press conference on Wednesday.

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One week after he dodged questions about leaving the PGA Tour for the lucrative Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, word leaked on Tuesday that Brooks Koepka was indeed bidding the Tour adieu.

It was just the latest example of a pro joining the rival league after either dodging questions about their interest in it or completely contradicting previous statements.

One of the PGA Tour’s most vocal, and important, proponents has been Rory McIlroy, who doubled down on previous comments while speaking to the media on Wednesday at the Travelers Championship.

“Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he said previously,” McIlroy said, when asked about Koepka. “I think that’s why I’m surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another, and I don’t understand that and I don’t know if that’s for legal reasons or if they can’t — I have no idea. But it’s pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing.”

Bryson DeChambeau also recently joined LIV, the news of which came less than a week after he said he wasn’t interested in it.

Asked if McIlroy was referring to players changing their minds from statements made recently or years ago, he said, “The whole way through. The whole way through, in public and private, all of it.”

Last week at the U.S. Open, Koepka grew irritated by some of the media’s questions at Brookline, as he was asked for his opinion on players leaving and if he had any interest in joining.

“I wasn’t playing last week [at the first LIV event]. I’m here,” he said. “I’m here at the U.S. Open. 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.”

Seven days later, it was reported Koepka had jumped ship, which was later confirmed by his team. He’ll be the second-highest ranked player in next week’s event in Oregon, behind only Dustin Johnson.

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Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.