So Alan Shipnuck has reported Brooks Koepka has “buyer’s remorse” after moving to LIV Golf and is “rethinking his career choice.”
The four-time major champion featured prominently in Full Swing – the new Netflix documentary series about the PGA Tour.
Koepka’s episode is number two and it shows his frustration at being beaten at the WM Phoenix Open in 2022 and also missing the cut at the Masters.
The show presents Koepka to be the competitive and fiercely determined beast that he is, or was. His steely-eyed focus won him eight titles on the PGA Tour and 47 weeks at World No 1.
After watching the episode, and before being aware of Shipnuck’s Q&A, I messaged my friends and told them how disappointed I was that Koepka was no longer on the PGA Tour.
I used to love watching his powerful drives and clutch putting. When he got himself into contention at a tournament, he had the air of inevitability that players such as Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm play with now.
But he kissed regular encounters with these players goodbye when he signed for LIV Golf and when he made his debut at the Portland Invitational last June.
He said in February 2022, “somebody will sell out and go to it.” After joining LIV Golf, he said his opinion changed and he made the best decision for him.
Injuries to his knee and wrist have plagued the 32-year-old during his career and they began to take their toll. He missed seven cuts and made just two top-10s on the PGA Tour in 2022.
Netflix shows Koepka at rock bottom in confidence, saying “I’ll be honest with you. I can’t compete with these guys week in and week out.”
But surely most players must go through a patch where they aren’t firing on all cylinders and experience bouts of negativity. To me, Koepka’s words reflected a short-term outlook that a major champion can dig his way out of.
Perhaps this dip was a reason for accepting a big-money offer from LIV Golf, but I don’t believe he has truly exchanged his killer instinct and drive to beat the best players for money.
I felt a tad of sadness watching Koepka’s segment on Full Swing because many golf fans will cast him from their minds and prioritise tuning into the PGA Tour over LIV Golf.
This isn’t right and this is why my instinct was he regretted moving to the Saudi-backed tour that has limited fields, 54 holes and lower-quality competition based on world rankings
Koepka recently missed the cut at the International Series Oman event on the Asian Tour, a performance that likely represents where his game and motivation are at.
Shipnuck wrote that “Koepka has to feel like he’s on the outside looking in.” This is the perfect phrase to summarise what I took away from the Netflix show.
Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Max Homa have all won events on Tour in 2023 and competed in the new designated events that feature virtually the best possible fields in the sport.
Surely Koepka will watch these events and think “why aren’t I playing?” He belongs in tense finishes at meaningful tournaments and he has already proved he can come out on top at two US Opens and two PGA Championships.
If you’re not competing against, playing with and feeding off the top players, how can you expect to be one yourself?
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has previously ruled out the possibility of players being allowed back from LIV, but I, for one, hope this changes.
It may require groveling but I hope Koepka is serious about making a return to the PGA Tour because I don’t believe his career is going where he wants it to.
Should LIV Golf players be allowed back on the PGA Tour? Tweet me and let me know!
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