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#pounditTuesday, October 4, 2022

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka reveals reasoning for leaving PGA Tour

Brooks Koepka on the golf course

Feb 25, 2022; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA; Brooks Koepka watches after completing the sixth hole during the second round of The Honda Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Koepka officially left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf earlier in June and received backlash from a notable PGA Tour star about going back on his initial commitment to the Tour. On Tuesday, Koepka gave his reasoning for defecting to the Saudi-backed golf league.

Koepka shared with reporters that him changing his mind about joining LIV was due to his opinion changing. He also gave a major reason for his decision to leave the Tour.

“What I’ve had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, you realize, you know, I need a little bit more time off,” Koepka said via ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. “I’ll be the first one to say it: It’s not been an easy last couple of years, and I think having a little more breaks, a little more time at home to make sure I’m 100% before I go play in an event and don’t feel like I’m forced to play right away [is good].”

Koepka, 32, should have plenty of time to take care of his body now that he’s off the Tour. LIV golf events are 54-hole tournaments played over three days. By comparison, the PGA Tour has four-day, 72-hole tournaments. The league also uses shotgun starts, meaning that golfers start at the same time but on different tees. This reduces the amount of time that a round takes to complete. LIV golfers, including Koepka, are also barred from playing in one major European Tour event. That’s one less event that he has to prepare his body to play in.

This week, Koepka will play in LIV’s first United States-based event, which is taking place in Portland, Ore.

Rory McIlroy criticizes Brooks Koepka, other LIV Golf defectors

Rory McIlroy on the course

May 30, 2019; Dublin, OH, USA; Rory McIlroy looks on during the first round of the 2019 Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Numerous PGA Tour members have recently left the Tour to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league, and Rory McIlroy had some harsh words for those defectors.

Speaking Wednesday to reporters prior to the start of the Traveler’s Championship on Thursday, McIlroy called out Brooks Koepka and others for going back on their Tour commitments.

“Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he said previously,” McIlroy said regarding Koepka, via ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. “I think that’s why I’m surprised at a lot of these guys — because they say one thing and then they do another … 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.”

Koepka officially left for LIV Golf on Monday and will play in the league’s first event in the United States next week. Prior to last week’s U.S. Open, Koepka ripped the media over their LIV Golf questions amid rumors that he could leave the Tour.

McIlroy has been outspoken against LIV Golf from the start. After winning the RBC Canadian Open earlier in June, he took a shot at LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman.

But with the money that LIV is offering players, Koepka could be the first of many golfers to jump ship.

Another golf superstar reportedly leaves PGA Tour for LIV

Phil Mickelson in golf gear

May 22, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson reacts on the first green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

LIV Golf continues to poach star talent away from the PGA Tour, and it appears Brooks Koepka is the latest big name to commit to the new league.

Koepka sparked speculation among golf fans on Monday night when he scrubbed all references to the PGA Tour from his social media profiles. Many interpreted the change as a sign that he is preparing to announce his move to LIV Golf.

According to James Corrigan of The Telegraph, that is the case. Koepka is expected to announce that he has signed with LIV Golf and play in next week’s tournament in Portland, Ore. That will be the first LIV event in the United States.

Koepka’s younger brother Chase has already signed with the Saudi-backed LIV league. Dustin Johnson signed a $150 million deal with LIV, and Koepka’s contract will likely be similar.

Koepka made the cut at the US Open over the weekend but finished 55th with a score of 12-over. The four-time major champion blasted reporters before the tournament when he was asked about LIV Golf (video here).

All of the golfers who have signed with LIV have been banned from competing in PGA Tour events. Major tournaments are not directly governed by the Tour, so it is unclear if LIV players will continue to be allowed to partake in them.

Brooks Koepka rips reporters over LIV Golf questions

Brooks Koepka on the golf course

Feb 25, 2022; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA; Brooks Koepka watches after completing the sixth hole during the second round of The Honda Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The recent launch of the LIV Golf series has dominated the conversation leading up to the 2022 US Open, and Brooks Koepka made it clear on Tuesday that he is tired of hearing about the new league.

Koepka became irritated during his press conference at The Country Club in Brookline when he was asked a LIV Golf question. He accused the media of creating a “black cloud” over one of the most important golf events of the year.

Some of the biggest names in golf have signed with LIV and been suspended from the PGA Tour, so the story is quite significant. Still, there are many other players and fans who feel similarly to Koepka and want to get back to focusing on the major tournament that is about to be played.

Questions about the LIV Golf series led to an extremely awkward press conference for Phil Mickelson on Monday (video here). It is hardly a surprise that Koepka, a two-time US Open champion, is aggravated by all the attention the new league is receiving.

Brooks Koepka had mishap before PGA Championship press conference

Brooks Koepka on the golf course

Feb 25, 2022; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA; Brooks Koepka watches after completing the sixth hole during the second round of The Honda Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Koepka will be looking to win his third PGA Championship when he tees it up at Southern Hills Country Club on Thursday, and he is hoping things go a lot more smoothly for him as the week goes on.

Koepka showed up late to his scheduled press conference ahead of the PGA Championship on Tuesday. He explained why in a funny video he posted on social media. The four-time major champion somehow locked himself out of his car while the car was running, which seems almost impossible with modern technology.

A short while after, Koepka shared an update saying someone from the PGA brought an extra key and unlocked the car, which was likely a courtesy car from event organizers. Fortunately, the little mishap did not cost him much time.

Koepka is not always a fan of technology, which we saw when he snatched a phone away from a fan during a tournament last month (video here). Hopefully Tuesday’s incident is not a preview of things to come.

Brooks Koepka snatched phone from fan in heated exchange

Brooks Koepka on the golf course

Brooks Koepka played well at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play last week, but the four-time major champion was in no mood to chum it up with fans after his big win over John Rahm.

Koepka defeated Rahm, who was the top-ranked golfer in the world at the time, in the Round of 16. After the win, a fan came up to Koepka and asked him, “Brooks, what do you say to beating Rahm?” The fan apparently got a bit too close for comfort. Koepka angrily snatched the fan’s cell phone. TMZ obtained the video, which you can see below:

Koepka could be heard shouting at the fan to “get it out of my face, man!” TMZ was told Koepka held onto the fan’s phone for a second before the golfer’s manager returned it.

That wasn’t the only tense exchange Koepka had with fans at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He also lashed out at some people who were seeking an autograph.

Most people tend to think of Koepka as only being salty toward Bryson DeChambeau, but he often gets irritated with fans.

Photo: Feb 25, 2022; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA; Brooks Koepka watches after completing the sixth hole during the second round of The Honda Classic golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Floyd Mayweather, Brooks Koepka sit courtside for huge basketball game

Brooks Koepka seated next to Floyd Mayweather

Friday night’s Duke-Gonzaga game was a big contest in the college basketball world, and a few heavy hitters were at the game.

ESPN showed Floyd Mayweather and Brooks Koepka sitting courtside for the game, which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

Mayweather lives in Vegas, which helps explain his presence at the game. Koepka was in Vegas taking on Bryson DeChambeau for the latest installment of “The Match” earlier in the day.

Duke won the game 84-81 to hand Gonzaga its first loss of the season.

Wondering what Mayweather and Koepka were doing sitting next to each other? Maybe they both just wanted premium seats for the premium event and coincidentally were next to each other. Or maybe we’re going to see them starring in a buddy cop movie together next.

Look: Brooks Koepka trolls Bryson DeChambeau with his golf cart

Brooks Koepka trolled Bryson DeChambeau with his golf cart

Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau put their feud aside to help the U.S. win the Ryder Cup two months ago, but they are looking to renew it for the latest installment of “The Match.” Koepka’s custom golf cart should help with that.

Koepka shared a photo of his cart for “The Match” on Twitter Thursday night. The cart has several decals that feature phrases trolling DeChambeau.

It’s hard to pick a favorite. We’d guess the one that cuts the deepest for DeChambeau is “Let’s Go Brooksy.” That, of course, is a phrase fans used to taunt DeChambeau during events. DeChambeau was so angered by it that he had an extremely heated exchange with a fan and had the PGA make a rule about the phrase.

The hostility between Koepka and DeChambeau was very real at one point, but it seemed like a lot changed at the Ryder Cup. At the very least, we can expect plenty of trash talk during “The Match” on Friday afternoon.

Brooks Koepka’s fiancée Jena Sims nailed her Michael Jordan costume

Jena Sims in her Michael Jordan costume

Halloween isn’t until Sunday but it’s really more of a month-long event anyway. Just ask Jena Sims, fiancée of PGA star Brooks Koepka, who hit it out of the park with her Michael Jordan costume.

While Koepka has yet to share a photo in his annual Halloween costume, Sims did show up in hers. And while at a Jupiter, Florida party, stole the show with her likeness of Jordan — complete with Air Jordan shoes, a Chicago Bulls jersey and his classic post-championship cigar.

Sims also went the extra mile with a glass whiskey on the rocks, which Jordan always had nearby during his interviews on “The Last Dance.”

Talk about attention to detail and dedication to the costume. All Sims needs is a championship ring (or six) to top it off.

H/T: Golf Digest

Justin Thomas made hilarious Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka shirts

Justin Thomas Step Brothers shirt

The U.S. Ryder Cup team seemed like a such a close-knit group this year that even Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka got along. When they saw the shirts that were made featuring both their faces, they probably realized they had no choice.

As the U.S. team was celebrating its historically dominant win over Europe on Sunday night, Bryson DeChambeau was spotted wearing a hilarious shirt. It featured his and Koepka’s faces depicted as the characters from the movie “Step Brothers.”

Where did the shirt come from? It looks like Justin Thomas may have had them made. Thomas shared a photo of himself wearing the shirt on Monday. He also posted a close-up of the shirt on his Instagram story and wrote “I think the team shirts were a success.”

DeChambeau and Koepka became known for their animated feud over the past few years. They may not be best friends, but they certainly put their differences aside at Whistling Straits. They shared a hug after the big win, and U.S. captain Steve Stricker made a shocking revelation about the two major champions.

The U.S. team probably knew the DeChambeau-Koepka dynamic could become awkward at some point. The shirts were a great way of downplaying it.