Brooks Koepka Rejects Premier Golf League: 'I'm Going with the PGA Tour'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 15, 2020

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: 	Brooks Koepka of the United States on the 11th tee during the first round of The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 12, 2020 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Brooks Koepka has said he's "going with the PGA Tour" and turned down the idea of joining the emerging Premier Golf League.

Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm have also said they'll stay competing in the PGA Tour, rejecting the idea of helping to form a competing tournament in the PGL, per Orlando Ramirez of Golfweek.

Koepka, 29, told the Associated Press (h/t Sky Sports): "I am out of the PGL. I'm going with the PGA Tour. I have a hard time believing golf should be about just 48 players."

The Florida native has won the U.S. Open (2017-18) and the PGA Championship (2018-19) twice apiece in the past three years. He's currently ranked third in the world, having finished fourth or higher in each of the four majors in 2019.

The reported plans for the Premier Golf League mentioned a 48-player competition featuring a $240 million prize pool, per Forbes' Matthew Cooper.

Koepka added money wouldn't be enough of a motivating factor for him to leave the PGA Tour:

"I get that the stars are what people come to see. 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.

"Money isn't going to change my life. There's something to be said about freedom of playing.

"I get to choose. To me, it's not worth it. I'm happy with how things are. When life is good and it's real good you don't want to change it. I think the PGA Tour is run beautifully."

Six-time major winner Nick Faldo raised issues with the PGL plans and questioned how players would compare their merits with former greats in a breakaway contest:

Sir Nick Faldo @NickFaldo006

In two years what will be the average @PGATOUR purse? Is a 54 hole with two rounds shot gun start a real tournament? How do you gauge yourself against golf's history from Walter, Gene, Sam, Ben, Arnold, Jack, Gary, Tom, Lee, Raymond, Seve, šŸ˜, Tiger, Phil, Rory, Brooks? https://t.co/on4yXqZFON

Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press noted the impact of Koepka joining the list of golfers opposed to the PGL:

Doug Ferguson @dougferguson405

Brooks Koepka: "I'm out of the PGL. I'm going with the PGA Tour." Pretty big blow to Premier Golf League to have Brooks and Rory not interested.

Koepka has been probably the form American golfer in the past two seasons, defending his crown in two different major tournaments in the space of two years.

World No. 1 McIlroy expressed concern with the supposed obligations that would come with playing in the PGL and wanted "autonomy and freedom over everything that I do," per golf analyst Ron Mintz:

Ron Mintz @MintzGolf

"The more I've thought about it, the more I don't like it. The one thing as a professional golfer in my position that I value is the fact that I have autonomy and freedom over everything that I do." Rory McIlroy on PGL

Talk of a breakaway competition that could take players away from the PGA Tour has been mooted on several occasions in years gone by, per Cooper.

Koepka is one of the latest PGA Tour stars to commit his future with the organisers of North America's biggest golf events for almost a century (since 1929), and his words may carry weight for other players.