Back in February, according to Golf Channel, Koepka said of LIV Golf: “They’ll get their guys. Somebody will sell out and go to it.”
Then, he bailed on the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) and joined it.
Koepka on Tuesday summed up his flip-flop in two words: “Opinions change.”
“I feel very comfortable with the decision I made. I’m happy, and did what’s best for me,” Koepka said, reported The Associated Press (AP).
But another former world No. 1, Rory McIlroy, said this month that Koepka and others were being duplicitous “to say one thing and then do another thing,” per The AP.
Koepka dismissed that, too.
“Look, he’s entitled to his opinion. He can think whatever he wants,” Koepka said. “He’s going to do what’s best for him and his family, I’m going to do what’s best for me and my family. Can’t hate on anybody for that, and like I said, opinions change, man.”
While Koepka is just 32 years old, the PGA tour can be grueling; many top golfers play 25 weeks or more each year, walking 72 holes over four days, often in extreme heat. Koepka cited a knee injury that has slowed him down, but he also said he wants to spend more time with his family — which he can do because the LIV Series runs just eight weeks.
The new tour is backed by hundreds of millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, one of the worst human rights offenders in the world. But other huge names in golf have joined, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau.
The PGA is not happy.
“We have followed the Tournament Regulations from start to finish in responding to those players who have decided to turn their backs on the PGA TOUR by willfully violating a regulation,” the PGA said in a statement this month, according to Sporting News. “The players are being notified that they are suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament play, including the Presidents Cup. This also applies to all tours sanctioned by the PGA Tour: the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.”
“As you know, players listed below did not receive the necessary conflicting event and media rights releases — or did not apply for releases at all — and their participation in the Saudi Golf League/LIV Golf event is in violation of our Tournament Regulations,” the U.S. tour added.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.