New York: Brooks Koepka has no interest in the Premier Golf League, another setback to a league promising guaranteed money and a team concept that now won’t have the top two players in the world.
“I am out of the PGL. I’m going with the PGA Tour,” Koepka said. “I have a hard time believing golf should be about just 48 players.”
Rory McIlroy, who replaced Koepka at No. 1 in the world a month ago, said last month in Mexico City that he was not interested in the new league. He said he valued his freedom to decide when and where to play instead of the proposed schedule of 18 tournaments, not including the majors.
Koepka said he made up his mind after meeting with organisers in Los Angeles a month ago during the Genesis Invitational, wanting to wait for a time when any announcement would not become a distraction. He had said at the start of the Florida swing only that “I want to play against the best”.
With golf shutting down over concerns about the new coronavirus, he wanted it made clear he wasn’t going anywhere.
Koepka, like McIlroy, cited the freedom he enjoys on the PGA Tour. He also spoke about the majority of the PGA Tour who he fears would be left out if all the attention was heaped on top stars competing in a team format.
“I get that the stars are what people come to see,” Koepka said. “But these guys who we see win, who have been grinding for 10 or 15 years, that’s what makes the cool stories. I’d have a hard time looking at guys and putting them out of a job.”
Koepka speaks from experience. Having failed to advance past the second stage of PGA Tour qualifying in 2012, he played remote spots on the Challenge Tour, earned a European Tour card and eventually made it to the PGA Tour, where he won his first tournament in early 2015.
“I don’t forget where I’ve come from,” Koepka said. “There are guys from that top 125 who could be the next star.”