What started as a relatively standard press conference quickly turned contentious as Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez were peppered with questions regarding their leap from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf. The three did not hold back as they aired their grievances against the PGA Tour, explained their career moves and ultimately butted heads with those asking the questions.
Despite the almost chaotic nature of it all, the trio appeared unified as Koepka took the brunt of the questions with the common theme of their answers being a focus on time: more time away from the game, more time with their families, more time to recover from nagging injuries.
While Reed and Perez made some sense with their responses, for Koepka, the timing of this appears to be all wrong.
"What I've had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, you realize, you know, I need a little bit more time off," said Koepka. "I'll be the first one to say it: It's not been an easy last couple of years, and I think having a little more breaks, a little more time at home to make sure I'm 100% before I go play in an event and don't feel like I'm forced to play right away. That was a big thing for me."
Koepka has not resigned from the PGA Tour like Perez and Reed, but his schedule was significantly cut back in 2022 as he's only played 11 events this year and no tournaments other than majors since March. While he cited getting married, celebrating birthdays, and so on as reasons beyond injury that have kept him away from PGA Tour events, it would actually be difficult to take more time off than Koepka did this season. He even recently discussed the flexibility of his PGA Tour schedule.
So, it should come to no surprise that Koepka possesses only one victory since the end of the 2018-19 season as the 32-year-old's hip and knee continue to deteriorate -- a tough development for a man who dominated the game's grandest stages for three straight years -- while the threat of LIV Golf apparently has not.
"[Talks surrounding LIV Golf have] been around a lot longer than you guys have figured it out or when you guys first heard about it, Koepka said. "There was a bunch of stuff going on, and all of a sudden, this became real. This is a whole different thing when it became real. And like I said, my opinion changed. I'm allowed to have my opinion change."
Koepka claims he was intrigued from the start -- as far back as 2018 or 2019; however, two weeks ago at the 2022 U.S. Open, he stated disgust at LIV Golf even being brought up as a question. This was before his commitment to the tour was reported or made official.
LIV Golf has riled up emotions from just about everyone who is interested in the sport. In some ways, it's a bit intoxicating to see golf in the limelight, but the buzz of contention cannot outweigh the constant hypocrisy being spouted by some of those involved.
"My opinion changed," said Koepka to kick off his press conference. "That was it. You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation 'til everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out and just said I was going to go one way or another.
"Here I am."