Brooks Koepka made headlines last week when the news broke that he would be the latest PGA Tour defector to Saudi-backed LIV Golf.
The news was surprising, especially because Koepka had chided reporters who asked him about his PGA Tour allegiance at the U.S. Open, only days before LIV Golf’s announcement.
Koepka, who has struggled with a nagging knee injury in recent years, is a four-time major winner and current World No. 19. His brother, Chase, played the first LIV Golf Series event in London.
With the second LIV Golf Series event set to tee off in Portland this week, CBS golf analyst and six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo was asked to address the LIV defectors on the Travelers Championship broadcast on Saturday — and he painted a gloomy picture of what he believes Koepka has perhaps somewhat unknowingly opted into.
“He’s a wonderful example of the challenge of playing the Tour,” Faldo said of Koepka. “I mean, we have one thing called missing the cut, which is what, suddenly, they don’t like. But that’s part of our sport, to commit to an event. And Brooks is a wonderful example. He started way out, I believe, on the Asian Tour, then he wins in Europe. We were there on CBS to watch him win in Phoenix. He wins four majors, he’s climbed his way up. Last week he’s saying, ‘Get out of my face, all I want to do is play golf and go and win.’ And somebody then hit his number, and off he goes.
“And I’m really surprised at that, because I know when he’s out there, it’s a boatload of cash. It’s also a boatload of mandatory personal appearances and that sort of thing they’re gonna be doing. I’m sure he’s gonna find that gets very old very quickly,” Faldo continued. “And you know, the other very important thing is enjoyment. You’ve got to enjoy what you do in life. You can’t be standing on the golf course and thinking, ‘I don’t know the reason why I’m out here.’ You can’t — you just can’t fake that. It’s an important thing in life to know what you’re out there for and you think, I love this, I’m really loving it. And I cannot see how these guys right now think it’s a serious challenge.”
The LIV Golf Invitational Portland at Pumpkin Ridge features a no-cut field of 48 players and begins on June 30th. It’s the first LIV Golf tournament set to be staged in the United States, and will be contested the same week at the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois.