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BROOKLINE, Mass. – A storm has been brewing this week at The Country Club ahead of the 122nd U.S. Open.
Not ominous skies and impending storms. No, the disturbance took root more than two years ago in the Middle East with talks of an upstart golf league that would rival the PGA Tour and potentially pick off some of the game’s best players.
Last week, the league known as LIV Golf which is backed by the controversial Saudi Arabia regime and led by Greg Norman played its first tournament in London, the headliners being Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter. Also last week, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed agreed to terms and will be defecting to LIV Golf.
All of the players have been suspended from the PGA Tour by commissioner Jay Monahan.
This week outside of Boston, all the game’s best players have converged to try and win the U.S. national championship, as cherished a major as there is.
Yet the majority of the conversation has been about LIV Golf. Question after question after question has been about LIV Golf.
Two-time U.S. Open champion and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka is sick of it. In fact, the man with the calm demeanor on and off the golf course got a touch heated during his gathering with the media.
“I’m here at the U.S. Open. I’m ready to play U.S. Open, and I think it kind of sucks, too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the U.S. Open,” Koepka said Tuesday. “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.”
A few questions later, LIV Golf came up again. And again. And again.
Brooks Koepka addresses the media during a press conference for the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Is there a dollar amount that would make you go to LIV Golf? Isn’t LIV Golf perfect for you since you can concentrate on majors and play 8-10 other tournaments with huge purses? What about the future of LIV Golf?
“I don’t understand. I’m trying to focus on the U.S. Open, man. I legitimately don’t get it. I’m tired of the conversations. I’m tired of all this stuff,” he said. “Like I said, 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.”