ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Brooks Koepka wasn’t wearing his LIV Golf League team’s logo while winning his fifth major title at the 105th PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on Sunday.
But the three-time PGA Championship winner might as well have been carrying the LIV Golf League on his shoulders. Koepka’s 2-shot victory over Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler was the first major championship win by an LIV Golf League player. Other members of the Saudi Arabian-financed circuit said it proved they belong in the major championships.
“It validates everything we’ve said from the beginning: That we’re competing at the highest level and we have the ability to win major championships,” Bryson DeChambeau said. “I really hope people can see the light now that we’re trying to provide the game of golf with something new and fresh. I think at the end of the day, both sides are going to have to come together at some point. It’s for the good of the game.”
Koepka — who picked up his second LIV Golf League victory in Orlando, Florida, in April then tied for second at the Masters the following week — didn’t seem too interested in talking about what his victory might do for his new league.
“Yeah, I definitely think it helps LIV, but I’m more interested in my own self right now, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “Yeah, it’s a huge thing for LIV, but at the same time, I’m out here competing as an individual at the PGA Championship. I’m just happy to take this home for the third time.”
Koepka was asked if he had heard from LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman after winning another Wanamaker Trophy. Koepka said he had only talked to his wife, Jena, who is pregnant with their first child, a boy.
Norman congratulated Koepka on Twitter, writing in part, “Congrats @BKoepka your comeback has been impressive. I am so proud of you. As for the @livgolf_league players they belong and the Majors and golf knows.”
“We’re still out there,” said Smith, the reigning Open Championship winner. “We haven’t [forgotten] how to play golf. We’re all great golfers out there, and we know what we can do, and I think that’s what we’re trying to do.”
If nothing else, DeChambeau said, the performance by LIV Golf League players should put an end to the narrative that it’s a league of aging and injured golfers who aren’t able to compete at a high level anymore.
“Clearly, it’s untrue,” DeChambeau said. “I’ve always said the truth will come out eventually. Truth always plays its way out, and it is. We’ve got a lot of great players out there, and I think people need to start looking at the brighter side of things that we’re trying to do something good for the game.”
LIV golfers sound off after Brooks Koepka wins PGA Championship