Rory McIlroy has been steadfast in his support of the PGA Tour as it deals with defections to the LIV Golf Invitational Series, taking on a vocal leadership role in extolling his views on the situation.
On Wednesday at the Travelers Championship, McIlroy offered some strong comments, taking issue with those who have defected after saying they would not.
Brooks Koepka was the latest to do so, making official his jump to the new series, where he will play next week outside of Portland.
“Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he said previously,’’ McIlroy said during a news conference. “I think that’s why I’m surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another, and I don’t understand that and I don’t know if that's for legal reasons ... But it's pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing.’’
McIlroy said he was referring to Koepka’s comments on the situation “the whole way through, the whole way through, in public and in private.’’
The LIV Golf Invitational Series, led by commissioner Greg Norman and fronted by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has been a disruptive force in the game for several months, culminating with the launch of its first event two weeks ago outside of London.
While Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and other past major winners such as Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel – the individual winner – and Martin Kaymer played the first tournament, others signed on during that week, including Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez.
The addition of Koepka gives the LIV Golf Invitational Series two of the primary combatants in a months-long spat that served the PGA tour well last year when he was at odds with DeChambeau.
Koepka has pushed back on questions about LIV last week during the U.S. Open, bristling that they were overshadowing the tournament. His brother, Chase, played in the first event a week prior and Koepka himself did not put an end to any speculation.
He will be part of the 48-player field next week at Pumpkin Ridge, with three players still to be named on Monday.