The LIV Golf vs. PGA Tour narrative continued over the weekend with Brooks Koepka capturing his fifth major title after winning the PGA Championship on Sunday.
And while he attempted to avoid any detailed discussion about what the win could mean for the tour’s reputation, his coach Claude Harmon III took the opportunity to call out the media he accused of drinking the “Kool-Aid.”
“You guys all think LIV’s, maybe you’ve changed your tune, but initially, it was all just bulls—, a bunch of guys playing who didn’t care, who got the money, who got the bag, and it’s 54 holes and there’s no competition and all that,” Harmon said of the media in comments during and after Koepka’s final round at Oak Hill, according to Golfweek.
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“So it was easy for you guys to just pretend like these guys just weren’t good players anymore. And I think you guys largely did that because you drank the Kool-Aid of everybody else. But how you guys all thought that these guys just weren’t going to show up and be great players is beyond me.”
Harmon continued: “I think it is an interesting Jedi mind trick that they played on you guys and you guys fell for it. Because you guys were all, ‘These guys were all washed up. They took the bag. They’re insignificant. They play against no competition.’ And that’s just not the case.”
Koepka became the first golfer on the LIV Golf tour to win a major. At the Masters just a month earlier, 18 LIV golfers played with 12 making the cut and three finishing in the top 5.
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Koepka and Phil Mickelson both finished T2 and Patrick Reed finished T4.
Harmon went on to explain that his criticism of the media stems from the portrayal of golfers going to LIV, specifically Koepka, as a money grab.
“This goes a long way to debunking the LIV myth, which is everybody got paid, you’re not going to care, and if you get paid you’re going to phone it in. Nobody thinks that way with Lamar Jackson, with Dak Prescott, with the NBA. Why is golf different? Why do we want golf to be not like everything else? That’s what I fundamentally don’t get.”
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Koepka was asked during his post-match presser about his win and what it could mean for LIV, but he seemingly sidestepped the question.
“I definitely think it helps LIV, but I’m more interested in my own self right now, to be honest with you,” he 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.”