LIV Golf: Brooks Koepka responds to Rory McIlroy's 'duplicitous' accusation after move to series
Rory McIlroy said last week players who have joined the LIV Golf series are "pretty duplicitous"; Brooks Koepka responds to McIlroy's criticism ahead of debut in Portland this week: "He's entitled to his opinion. He can think whatever he wants"
Last Updated: 30/06/22 12:03pm
Brooks Koepka says Rory McIlroy can "think whatever he wants" after the Northern Irishman labelled some LIV Golf rebels as "duplicitous" for the way in which they joined the series.
Four-time major winner Koepka quit the PGA Tour last week to join the controversial breakaway series and will compete in the second LIV event in Portland this week.
McIlroy did not mention Koepka by name but was critical of those players who had apparently committed to the main Tour only to later jump ship.
But the American responded: "Look, I got respect for Rory as a player. He's good. He's phenomenal.
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"I'll be honest with you. I didn't see it [the "duplicitous" comment]. I didn't hear about it until basically like a day ago.
"So, look, he's entitled to his opinion. He can think whatever he wants. He's going to do what's best for him and his family, I'm going to do what's best for me and my family and can't hate on anybody for that, and like I said, opinions change."
DeChambeau: Joining LIV Golf a 'personal business decision'
Meanwhile Bryson DeChambeau, who will also make his debut at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, has hit back at criticism for joining LIV Golf.
The former US Open champion said: "I personally think that I respect everyone's opinion and decisions, just like I hope they would on our side as well.
"Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, and from my perspective, we're golfers. We're providing entertainment globally, and we'll continue to do so as time goes on."
The world number 31 also outlined his reasons for joining the breakaway tour.
"One of the things for me it was a personal business decision," the 28-year-old said. "For me I run and operate my golf as a business as well as wanting to be one of the better players in the world.
"Second off, it was going to give me more resources and opportunities to reinvest in my local community, in Dallas, and back at my original home in California where I can do things for junior golf tours, improve my foundation, and also build the multi-sport complex I'm going to build here shortly in Dallas, and also give me more time to rest, the ability to have weeks off and recover my body in the way I want to so that I can be prepared to give it my all when it comes time, not be depleted every week and continuing to get depleted over the course of time
"And then the last part is I saw that first event in London and how much fun everybody was having. That was exciting to me. And I wanted to be a part of something like that."
'The PGA Tour didn't listen to the players'
Americans Pat Perez and Patrick Reed said the PGA Tour had only itself to blame for losing players to LIV Golf.
The pair criticised the PGA Tour and its commissioner, Jay Monahan, and said the blame for their departure lay at the feet of the golf organising body.
"Monahan just shut it out from the start. Didn't want to listen, didn't want to take a meeting," said Perez, a 46-year-old, three-time PGA Tour winner.
"They didn't listen to the players. Somehow, the tour, they keep talking about 'Oh yeah, we work for you, we work for the players.' But it's the opposite. Seems like we work for them. We don't have a say in anything."
Earlier this month, the PGA Tour suspended members who joined LIV Golf, with Monahan saying they had "decided to turn their backs" on the tour.
Asked if the tour could have done anything to keep them, Reed responded: "Listen to the players for once."
Perez said: "We should be able to do whatever we want, we're independent contractors.
"This group has provided me an opportunity to play golf and have a different schedule. That's my only concern."
With Portland the second of eight events that will offer up purses totalling £210m, LIV promises its competitors more money with far fewer tournaments on the calendar.
Perez said at his age, after decades on the road missing time with his family, getting the call from LIV was like "winning the lottery".
"I'm a 30- to 33-week guy every year I've done it," he said. "And now I don't have to."
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