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LIV Golf: Rory McIlroy Calls Players Switching ‘Pretty Duplicitous’

Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy
Koepka (left) and McIlroy had a friendly rivalry as they vied for majors

Rory McIlroy has called players joining LIV Golf “quite duplicitous” as Brooks Koepka was the last to join the new Saudi-backed series.

Four-time Major champion Koepka joins compatriots Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau in the new eight-event $250 million series.

McIlroy, a staunch supporter of the PGA Tour, said he didn’t expect the former world number one to join LIV Golf.

“Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he said before,” he said.

“I think that’s why I’m surprised by a lot of these guys, because they say one thing and then do another and I don’t understand them.

“I don’t know if that’s for legal reasons – I have no idea – but it’s pretty duplicitous on her part to say one thing and then do another thing. In public and in private.”

Speaking at the US Open last week, where he finished 55th after a poor weekend, Koepka complained that questions about the LIV golf series cast a “black cloud” over the major.

Meanwhile, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has called LIV Golf not “healthy competition.”

“Like I told the players [on Tuesday], let me be clear, I’m not naive. If this is an arms race and the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour cannot compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars to buy the game of golf,” Monahan said.

“We welcome good, healthy competition. The LIV Saudi Golf League is not that. It is an irrational threat that doesn’t care about profitability or the true growth of the game.”

Koepka had already retired from Thursday’s PGA Tour event, the Travelers Championship, and was described by his general manager, Greg Norman, as an “incredible” addition to the LIV Golf series.

“The addition of Brooks is another example of the incredible fields that LIV Golf is putting together as we gain momentum in our first season and look to the future,” said Norman.

The American is expected to play his first LIV event at the second, 54-hole, 48-player tournament taking place June 30-July 2 in Portland, Oregon.

He will join his brother Chase in the series and on Tuesday it was announced that world No. 20 Mexican Abraham Ancer, 31, has also signed up for the LIV Golf series.

Koepka, now ranked No. 19 in the world, won the US Open in 2017 and 2018 and is also a two-time US PGA champion, winning the Wanamaker Trophy in 2018 and 2019.

Norman added of Koepka, “You can’t underestimate the impact Brooks Koepka has had on the game of golf over the past five years.

The PGA Tour suspended 17 members who competed in the first tournament at the Centurion Club in early June, which was won by Charl Schwartzel, and it’s likely Koepka will receive the same treatment.

The organization said in a statement: “Players are being notified that they are suspended or otherwise ineligible to participate in tournament play on the PGA Tour, including the Presidents Cup.

“As you are aware, the players listed below have not received the required conflicting event and media rights releases – or have not requested any releases at all – and their participation in the Saudi Golf League/LIV golf event violates our tournament regulations. This same fate applies to all other players participating in future Saudi Golf League events.”

It was also announced on Wednesday that LIV players will be allowed to compete at the 150th Open Championship in July. The US Open also allowed LIV golfers to participate.

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