Brooks Koepka, Abraham Ancer, latest to join Saudi backed LIV series, leave PGA tour

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Brooks Koepka, one of many first gamers to denounce a rival league for under 48 gamers, is the most recent PGA Tour participant to signal on with the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series following rumours the four-time major champion would depart.

An individual briefed on Koepka’s choice informed the AP he nonetheless would be capable to compete on the PGA Tour till he hits a shot on the LIV Golf circuit. The individual spoke on situation of anonymity with out authorisation to talk on behalf of the tour.

The Each day Telegraph within the UK first reported Koepka’s choice.

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It was one other step that added to the roster of the LIV Golf sequence that invariably will result in no area for a number of the lesser-known gamers within the inaugural event outdoors London two weeks in the past.

Koepka remained within the area for the Vacationers Championship, although he was not at a participant assembly on the TPC River Highlands on Tuesday night time. The following LIV Golf occasion begins June 30 outdoors Portland, Oregon.

Koepka was the second participant, behind Rory McIlroy, to talk out in opposition to a rival league in March 2020 when he informed the AP, “I’ve a tough time believing golf must be about simply 48 gamers.”

“Cash is not going to vary my life,” Koepka mentioned on the time.

The proposed rival league was completely different from LIV Golf, introduced because the “Premier Golf League” although nonetheless counting on Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Greg Norman and LIV Golf took the thought of 48-man fields, no cuts with a staff part.

LIV Golf has not introduced Koepka’s signing amid hypothesis that a couple of others have been quickly to hitch. One was Abraham Ancer of Mexico, the No.20 on the planet who received a World Golf Championship final yr in a playoff, together with the Australian Open in 2018.

Ancer mentioned his choice was not taken frivolously and that becoming a member of LIV would enable him to provide again to the sport by serving to it develop in Mexico.

“I by no means might have imagined being on this place at present,” he mentioned on Twitter.

The information was as shocking to most gamers, just like Dustin Johnson on the preliminary LIV listing, as a result of Koepka had been so outspoken about it.

Jordan Spieth mentioned he was at a company outing final week with a number of high gamers, Koepka included, all of them supportive of the PGA Tour on this turf conflict.

“He was certainly one of them,” Spieth mentioned.

“I am staying with JT (Justin Thomas) and we wakened at present and have been like, ‘Wait — what?’ I would not have been shocked if he was like DJ from the get-go. I am simply shocked due to the place we have been final week.”

The event got here because the PGA Tour held a participant assembly on the Vacationers Championship, throughout which Commissioner Jay Monahan spoke of the tour’s position and plans to reshape the season and its tournaments.

In response to two gamers within the assembly, the PGA Tour plans to return to a calendar season that might begin in January and the FedEx Cup playoffs could be eligible for under the highest 70 gamers. They spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of the assembly was for gamers.

At present, the highest 125 make the postseason, with the highest 70 advancing to the second playoff occasion and the highest 30 to the Tour Championship. The brand new plan is for the highest 70 at the beginning, then the highest 50 and high 30.

The autumn could be used for gamers past seventieth to safe playing cards for the next yr, though analysis confirmed most inside the highest 100 could be secure.

The tour was nonetheless three fall occasions for restricted fields, together with eight tournaments throughout the common season that might spike purses within the vary of $20 million. A few of these into consideration have already got the most important purses.

LIV Golf was anticipated to announce as many as 4 new gamers this week. There was countless hypothesis throughout the US Open involving greater than a dozen names, a few of whom have expressed little interest in going.

That led two-time main champion Collin Morikawa to publish on Twitter, “To state for the file, as soon as once more, you all are completely flawed. I’ve mentioned it since February at Riviera that I am right here to remain on the PGA Tour and nothing has modified.”

Koepka’s youthful brother, Chase, who’s No.1,607 on the planet rankings, performed within the inaugural LIV occasion outdoors London.

Brooks Koepka chastised the media at The Nation Membership final week for questions in regards to the Saudi-funded league

“I’m right here on the US Open. I’m able to play the US Open, and I feel it type of sucks, too, you’re all throwing this black cloud over the US Open,” he mentioned.

“I don’t know why you guys hold doing that. The extra legs you give it, the extra you retain speaking about it.”

Koepka received back-to-back within the US Open (2017-18) and PGA Championship (2018-19), although his sport has been in decline since then due to a sequence of accidents.

His final victory was the Phoenix Open in February 2021 and he has fallen to No.19 on the planet. Within the majors this yr, he missed the minimize on the Masters and has completed out of the highest 50 within the PGA Championship and US Open.

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