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Brooks Koepka on joining LIV: ‘Opinions change’

Four months after suggesting those that defected to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf collection had been sellouts, Brooks Koepka defined Tuesday that he merely modified his thoughts.

Koepka signed with LIV Golf final week for its first occasion on American soil, which begins Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge west of Portland.

It was a surprising reversal for the four-time main champion, who was as soon as an outspoken critic of the fledgling collection that seeks to problem the PGA Tour.

“Opinions change. I really feel very comfy with the choice I made. I’m comfortable, and did what’s greatest for me,” Koepka stated.

In February, Koepka stated of LIV Golf: “They’ll get their guys. Somebody will promote out and go to it.”

Former world No. 1 and fellow four-time main winner Rory McIlroy prompt final week that Koepka and others had been duplicitous “to say one factor after which do one other factor.”

“Look, he’s entitled to his opinion. He can suppose no matter he desires,” Koepka responded. “He’s going to do what’s greatest for him and his household, I’m going to do what’s greatest for me and my household. Can’t hate on anyone for that, and like I stated, opinions change, man.”

Koepka cited a knee harm that has taken a toll on his physique and the need to spend extra time along with his household as elements in his resolution. He didn’t point out the multimillion-dollar signing bonuses LIV Golf — which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund — has handed to gamers. Koepka is without doubt one of the greatest names, together with Dustin Johnson and six-time main champion Phil Mickelson.

And there’s extra money to be made: The 48-man area will compete for a $20 million purse, with an extra $5 million prize fund for a staff competitors. Charl Schwartzel received the inaugural occasion outdoors London and took residence $4.75 million. LIV tournaments are performed over 54 holes with no lower, and even the last-place finisher will get paid.

Players who spoke to reporters on Tuesday skirted questions on Saudi Arabia’s human rights report.

“I perceive the subjects you’re attempting to carry up, they usually’re horrible occasions, however I’m right here to play golf. That’s my deal,” stated Pat Perez, a three-time PGA Tour winner who additionally spoke towards LIV Golf earlier than altering his thoughts. “I’ve bought a possibility to play golf, and that’s it.”

Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 U.S. Open champion, pointed to the great he plans to do in his group with the cash he’s making from LIV Golf.

“I believe as time goes on, hopefully folks will see the great that they’re doing and what they’re attempting to perform somewhat than wanting on the dangerous that’s occurred earlier than,” DeChambeau stated. “I believe transferring on from that’s necessary, and going and persevering with to maneuver ahead in a constructive mild is one thing that could possibly be a drive for good for the way forward for the sport.”

The PGA Tour has sought struggle off the menace posed by LIV Golf by disciplining gamers. The tour suspended each lively member who competed within the first LIV occasion. Those who play in Oregon can even be suspended until they resign their tour memberships.

Reporting by the Associated Press

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