Collin Morikawa dismisses reports that he is the next big name to join Saudi breakaway LIV Golf Tour
Collin Morikawa has strongly rejected reports that he is the next big name in golf to participate in the controversial LIV Golf Tour, with the Open champion insisting he’s “here to stay on the PGA Tour” .
Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka was the last player to join the Saudi breakaway tour, following in the footsteps of compatriots Bryan DeChambeau and Patrick Reed.
Then on Tuesday, reports came that last year’s Open winner Morikawa was joining the tour, but in a funny statement on Twitter, the 25-year-old dismissed the rumours.
Just your #11 money winner on PIP here to say good morning to everyone! Last week at my press conference I said that the media loves to create drama,” said Morikawa of world number 4.
“Yeah, I woke up this morning because everyone thought I’m next. Not to say I told you, but… I told you anyway.
“For the record, again, you’re absolutely wrong. I’ve been saying it since February in Riviera that I’m here to stay on the PGA Tour and nothing has changed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some cereal to pour into my milk.’
Koepka – who has earned £30.8 million ($37.9 million) in career prize money to date – will have demanded a seven-figure entry fee, similar to Dustin Johnson’s, who paid £120 million ($150) up front. million) received rate.
Collin Morikawa Rejected Reports He Is Next Big Name In Golf To Join LIV Golf Tour
Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka was the last player to join the Saudi breakaway tour
Notably, Koepka – who has twice won the US Open and twice the US PGA – removed “PGA Tour/Nike Athlete” from his Twitter bio last night.
Koepka will according to The Telegraph† announced as a new member of the Series ahead of the second event at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon, next week.
For now, Kopeka will remain in the official field for the Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour this week, as defectors to LIV have so far not been banned from the PGA Tour until they have fired shots at an LIV event.
Ahead of last week’s US Open at Brookline, former No. 1 Koepka hit back when questioned about the Saudi Arabia-backed tour, claiming reporters cast a “black cloud” over the tournament.
‘I do not understand. I’m trying to focus on the US Open, man. Legitimately I don’t get it. I’m tired of the conversations. I’m tired of all this hassle,” he said.
Koepka – pictured with wife, actress Jena Sims – has earned $37.9 million in prize money
“I’m here at the US Open, I’m ready to play the US Open, and I kind of hate it too, you’re all throwing a black cloud over the US Open. It’s one of my favorite events. I don’t know why you keep doing that.
“The more legs you give it, the more you keep talking about it.”
And in February, when Phil Mickelson criticized the PGA Tour’s control of media rights amid rumors of his involvement in the Saudi Arabia-backed tour, Koepka shouted what he saw as his compatriot’s hypocrisy.
Mickelson said, “They… [PGA Tour] also ask companies to use shots I hit. And when I did “The Match” – there were five – the tour forced me to pay them $1 million each time. For my own media rights. That kind of greed is beyond annoying to me.’
Then Koepka replied to the quotes on Instagram, “I don’t know if I’d use the word greedy if I’m Phil.”
According to the PGA Tour website, Koepka has earned $37.9 million in prize money to date. He currently ranks 19th in the world and has suffered from a succession of injuries in recent years.
Mickelson faced criticism when he competed in LIV Golf’s first event in St. Albans earlier this month
Dustin Johnson was the highest-ranked name to play in this month’s inaugural LIV Golf event
Players signing up for the LIV series have been criticized and widely condemned for the human rights abuses committed by the Saudi regime, which funds LIV to the tune of $2 billion.
Johnson, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia are some of the other names signed up to LIV Golf and they all played in the tour’s inaugural event earlier this month at the Centurion Club, won by the 2011 Masters champion , Charl Schwartzel.
Schwartzel took home £3.2 million in prize money for his win at the 54-hole event, which is more than the £2.5 million England’s Matt Fitzpatrick won for his US Open win, one of the traditional and most prestigious four major golf championships.
Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have also signed up for the controversial Saudi-backed tour
On Monday, LIV Golf chief Greg Norman hit back at critics of the Saudi-backed series, criticizing the PGA Tour for its “deafening” hypocrisy.
The PGA Tour banned Rebel players with immediate effect right after they joined Centurion earlier this month.
Meanwhile, famed American sports channel Bob Costas described the huge checks offered to players — the first seven events have $20 million purses — as “blood money.”
Former world No. 1 Norman, 67, decided to speak out as the US Open drew to a close on Sunday.
‘I’m disappointed that people are going to do that’ [blood money] toad, frankly,” Norman . told Fox news†
LIV Golf chief Greg Norman has hit back at critics of the Saudi-backed breakout series
The 67-year-old pictured with inaugural LIV Golf Invitational winner Charl Schwartzel
“Look, if they want to look at it in prism, why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing more than $40 billion in business with Saudi Arabia?
‘Why is it okay for the sponsors? Why is it okay to have a Saudi sponsor, Aramco, the largest sponsor of women’s golf in the world? Why is it okay for them? Why is it not okay for these players?
‘Shall [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan go to all those CEOs of the 23 companies that invest in Saudi Arabia and suspend and ban them?
“The hypocrisy in all this, it’s so loud. It’s deafening.’