Brooks Koepka fires up at reporter over LIV golf furore: 'That sucks'

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Brooks Koepka hit out in frustration after being asked for his thoughts on the LIV Golf series ahead of the US Open. Pic: AAP
Brooks Koepka hit out in frustration after being asked for his thoughts on the LIV Golf series ahead of the US Open. Pic: AAP

Brooks Koepka has snapped at a reporter after being asked a question about the controversial LIV Golf series.

Koepka sat down for a press conference ahead of the year's third major at The Country Club in Massachusetts, but was left bristling when asked about last week's inaugural event in the Saudi-backed breakaway competition.

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The four-time major winner ripped the new controversial rebel series and slammed reporters for asking about it in a tetchy exchange ahead of the US Open.

“I haven’t given it that much thought. I don’t understand,” a clearly frustrated Koepka said.

“I’m trying to focus on the US Open, man. I legitimately don’t get it. I’m tired of the conversations, I’m tired of all this stuff.

“Like I said, y’all are throwing a black cloud over the US Open. I think that sucks.

"I actually do feel bad for them for once because it’s a sh*t situation. We’re here to play, and you are talking about an event that happened last week.”

Koepka’s connection to the LIV Golf series is stronger than most who stuck with the PGA Tour, with his younger brother playing in last week's inaugural event at Centurion.

Chase Koepka opted to join the Saudi Arabian-backed league and competed in the first event last weekend - finishing in 37th place.

“I love my brother. I support him in anything he does,” Brooks Koepka said simply. “That’s family, I’ll always love and support him, so whatever he does, I’m cheering for him.”

Koepka will try to pick up his ninth PGA Tour win in Massachusetts, and his third UUS Open title after back-to-back victories in 2017 and 2018.

Pictured right is Brooks Koepka during a practice round before the US Open.
Brooks Koepka (R) and his coach look on from the eighth tee during a practice round before the US Open. Pic: Getty

The World No.19 hasn't played since the PGA Championship last month, where he finished in a tie for 55th.

As he said multiple times, discussion heading into the third major championship of the season has been largely dominated by LIV Golf — which has led to plenty of controversy and suspensions from the PGA Tour.

Phil Mickelson, who has drawn plenty of backlash for supporting the league, was asked almost exclusively about it earlier this week.

Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm throw support behind PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy, who won last week's Canadian Open and immediately threw shade at LIV’s CEO Greg Norman, criticised it - and the players who are copping widespread backlash for joining the Saudi-backed competition - again on Tuesday morning.

“My dad said to me a long time ago, once you make your bed, you lie in it, and they've made their bed,” McIlroy said.

“That’s their decision, and they have to live with that.”

McIlroy says he owes it to himself to uphold the ideals that golf pioneers such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer - who were instrumental in the early days of the PGA Tour - helped foster.

“The PGA Tour was created by people and tour players that came before us, the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer. They created something and worked hard for something, and I hate to see all the players that came before us and all the hard work that they've put in just come out to be nothing," he said.

“I hope I'm still building on my legacy. “It’s very important to me. It means a lot, going back to history and tradition and putting your name on trophies that have the legends of the game on them. That's really cool, and that's something that money can't buy.

“Legacy, reputation, at the end of the day, that's all you have. You strip everything away, and you're left with how you made people feel and what people thought of you. That is important to me.”

Defending US Open champion Jon Rahm also gave his backing to the PGA Tour and insisted there were more important things about golf, than money.

“I want to play against the best in the world in a format that's been going on for hundreds of years,” Rahm said.

“That's what I want to see. Money is great, but when (his wife) Kelley and I started talking about it, we're like, will our lifestyle change if I got $400 million? No, it will not change one bit.

“Truth be told, I could retire right now with what I've made and live a very happy life and not play golf again. So I've never really played the game of golf for monetary reasons. I play for the love of the game, and I want to play against the best in the world.

"I've always been interested in history and legacy, and right now the PGA Tour has that. There's meaning when you win the Memorial Championship. There's meaning when you win Arnold Palmer's event at Bay Hill.”

with agencies

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