Brooks Koepka becomes the newest player in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.
The four-time Major winner is the second tallest player to compete on the Breakaway Tour, behind Dustin Johnson, and he is expected to play the second event in Portland, Oregon next week.
Koepka will be suspended from the PGA Tour as a result of his decision after complaining that questions about the issue at Brookline would cast a “black cloud” over the US Open.
When asked in his pre-tournament press conference why he seemed to have decided to stay on the PGA Tour, Koepka said, “Up until now there hasn’t been any other option, so where else do you want to go?”
When the reporter pointed out that the LIV events had started, Koepka added, “As of last week. That’s it. I didn’t play last week.
“I’m here. I’m here at the US Open. I’m ready to play the US Open and I also kinda suck that y’all are throwing this black cloud over the US Open. It’s one of my favorite events. Me I don’t know why you keep doing this.
“The more legs you give him, the more you talk about it.”
Koepka won the US Open in 2017 and 2018 and the US PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019, but the 32-year-old has been slowed down by injuries in recent years and is currently ranked 19th in the world.
His brother Chase is signed up with LIV Golf and earlier this month he competed in the first event at Centurion Club which Charl Schwartzel won.
Abraham Ancer, who retired late from the US Open, announced on Tuesday that he has joined the breakaway tour. The 31-year-old won his first PGA Tour event last year at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Patrick Reed, Pat Perez and Bryson DeChambeau have already been confirmed as players at Portland, with the latter having a feud with Koepka that culminated in a 12-hole match which Koepka easily won.
However, Open champion Collin Morikawa took to social media on Tuesday to quash rumors that he would be following in Koepka’s footsteps.
The two-time Major winner tweeted: “Last week at my press conference I said the media loves creating drama. In fact, I woke up this morning because everyone thought I was next. Not to say I told you, but… I told you.
“For the record, you’re dead wrong. I’ve said it at Riviera since February that I’m here to stay on the PGA Tour and nothing has changed.”
Newly-crowned US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick reiterated his commitment to the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, saying he’s “not really concerned” about the current list of defectors.
“I think whenever you have Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy – I saw Collin Morikawas come out and made a statement today – Scottie Scheffler, I have a feeling you have some great players there,” Fitzpatrick said.
“To me they are more than good enough to rival any competing tour that might be trying to conquer golf. I’m not really concerned about that.
“I know the PGA Tour isn’t going anywhere, the DP World Tour isn’t going anywhere, and I think the most important thing for me is that I have a place to play and I want to play there.
“I don’t think the tour is going anywhere and as long as they have the support of Tiger Woods and Rory, Justin Thomas, I don’t think there will be any problems.”
Additional coverage from PA Sport.