Brooks Koepka is leaving the PGA Tour and joining the controversial Saudi breakaway LIV Golf Series, according to reports.
The four-time Major winner, 32, is set to become the latest big name to join the money spinning tour, with the American due to be announced in the coming days alongside compatriots Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed.
It also comes just months after Koepka – whose brother Chase is already signed up to LIV Golf – effectively branded Phil Mickelson a “greedy” for his potential involvement in the new circuit which has stunned the golfing world in recent weeks.
Notably Koepka – who won the US Open twice and the US PGA twice – removed “PGA Tour/Nike Athlete” from his bio on Twitter last night.
And ahead of last week’s US Open at Brookline, former world number one Koepka hit back when asked about the Saudi-backed tour, insisting reporters were casting a “dark cloud “about the tournament.
‘I don’t understand. I’m trying to focus on the US Open, man. I honestly don’t understand. I’m tired of the conversations. I’m sick of it all,” he said.
Koepka will, according to The telegraphwill be announced as the newest member of the series ahead of the second event at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon next week.
Brooks Koepka quits PGA Tour and joins controversial LIV Golf Series
Koepka effectively called Phil Mickelson (right) a ‘foodie’ for his potential involvement in the new tour in February
Koepka after winning the fourth of his four majors at the 2019 US PGA Championship – the 32-year-old earned $37.9 million in career prize money
Speaking ahead of the US Open last week, Koepka continued: “I’m here at the US Open, I’m ready to play the US Open, and I think it sucks too, y’all are throwing that cloud black on the US Open. It’s one of my favorite events. I don’t know why you keep doing that.
“The more legs you give it, the more you talk about it.”
And in February, as Mickelson criticized the PGA Tour’s control of media rights amid rumors of his involvement in the Saudi-backed tour, Koepka called out what he saw as hypocrisy on the part of of his fellow American.
Mickelson said: “They [PGA Tour] also charges companies to use the shots I hit. And when I did “The Match” – there were five of them – the tour made me pay them $1 million each time. For my own media rights. This type of greed is, to me, beyond abhorrent.
Afterwards, Koepka responded to the quotes on Instagram, saying, “I don’t know if I would use the word foodie if I’m Phil.”
Mickelson was slammed as he took part in LIV Golf’s first event in St Albans earlier this month
According to the PGA Tour website, Koepka has earned $37.9 million in career prize money to date.
Players who sign up for the series have been criticized and widely condemned due to human rights abuses perpetrated by the Saudi regime.
Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are among other stars to sign up for LIV Golf and they all took part in the tour’s inaugural event at the Centurion Club earlier this month, won by the 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
Dustin Johnson was the highest ranked name to play at the inaugural LIV Golf event this month
Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have also signed up for the controversial Saudi-backed tour
On Monday, LIV Golf chief Greg Norman hit back at criticism of the Saudi-backed series and slammed the PGA Tour for its “deafening” hypocrisy.
The PGA Tour banned the rebel players with immediate effect moments after they left at Centurion earlier this month.
Meanwhile, famed US sports broadcaster Bob Costas has described the huge checks being offered to players – the first seven events have $20m prize money – as “blood money”.
Former world number one Norman, 67, decided to speak out as the US Open drew to a close on Sunday.
‘I’m disappointed that people are coming down [blood money] way, quite honestly,” Norman told Fox News.
LIV Golf chief Greg Norman has hit back at criticism of the Saudi-backed breakaway series
The 67-year-old pictured with inaugural LIV Golf Invitational winner Charl Schwartzel
“Look, if they want to look at it through the prism, then why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing over $40 billion in business with Saudi Arabia?”
‘Why is it okay for the sponsors? Why is it acceptable that there is a Saudi sponsor, Aramco, the biggest sponsor of women’s golf in the world? Why is it good for them? Why is this not acceptable for these players?
‘Will be [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan goes to each of these CEOs of the 23 companies investing in Saudi Arabia, suspends them and bans them?
“The hypocrisy in all of this is so strong. It’s deafening.