Brooks Koepka says LIV talk 'throwing a black cloud' over U.S. Open

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BROOKLINE, Mass. – Brooks Koepka grew irritated Tuesday when asked about his interest in the rival league.

No player has performed better in the U.S. Open than Koepka over the past four years – he has lost to a total of just four players – and he had a testy exchange with reporters when he claimed that the continued focus on LIV Golf was putting a “black cloud” over the proceedings at The Country Club.

“I’m trying to focus on the U.S. Open, man,” he said toward the end of his news conference. “I legitimately don’t get it. I’m tired of the conversations. I’m tired of all this stuff.”

Full-field tee times from U.S. Open

“Y’all are throwing a black cloud on the U.S. Open. I think that sucks. I actually do feel bad for them for once because it’s a sh---y situation. We’re here to play, and you are talking about an event that happened last week.”

In February, Koepka, a member of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council, reiterated his support for the Tour, saying, “It’s been pretty clear for a long time now that I’m with the PGA Tour. It’s where I’m staying. I’m very happy. I think they do things the right way. People I want to do business with. I’m happy to be here.”

But there has remained speculation about Koepka’s interest, particularly with his younger brother, Chase, competing in the inaugural LIV event last week outside London. Brooks said he hasn’t talked to his brother about the experience, but he listened to the telecast while practicing last week in South Florida.

Koepka declined to say whether he remains fully committed to the Tour.

“There’s been no other option to this point,” he said, “so where else are you going to go?”

To LIV, a reporter replied.

That’s when Koepka became increasingly frustrated with the line of questioning.

“As of last week,” he said. “That’s it. I wasn’t playing last week. I’m here. I’m here at the U.S. Open. I’m ready to play the U.S. Open, and I think it kind of sucks, too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the U.S. Open. It’s one of my favorite events. I don’t know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give it, the more you keep talking about it.”

The reporter then suggested that Koepka would seem an ideal target for LIV officials: an accomplished player, age 32 and with an extensive injury history, who hasn’t been shy in drawing a line between major championships and everything else. A few years ago, Koepka famously said that the only time he practices was at majors.

When pressed whether LIV’s limited schedule (eight events this year, up to 14 once the league begins in 2024) appealed to him, Koepka said: “I choose my own schedule regardless what tour I play.”

Indeed, he has played just twice since the WGC-Match Play in March – at the first two major championships. “I can play as little as I want.”

Despite the topic of defections dominating the conversation at every event this year, Koepka said that his focus has been elsewhere. He demurred when asked directly whether there was a contract number that would cause him to flip.

“I haven’t given it that much thought,” he said.