Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka will leave the PGA Tour to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series, according to multiple reports.
The American, who has removed all references to the game’s lead circuit from his social media profiles, is expected to tee it up at the new series’ second event, which takes place in Portland, Oregon, next week. The Daily Telegraph first reported the news on Tuesday.
Koepka, 32, would represent one of the most prominent names to sign up the Saudi Arabia-backed enterprise, following the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.
LIV Golf’s inaugural event was staged earlier this month, at the Centurion Club just outside London. It carried a prize fund of $25 million, making it the most lucrative tournament in professional golf. At present, the series comprises eight events.
The PGA Tour, however, has adopted a zero-tolerance stance towards the series, with commissioner Jay Monahan earlier this month suspending 17 former or current tour players for making the switch.
On Tuesday world No 4 Collin Morikawa quashed rumours he would follow Koepka to LIV Golf, with the two-time major champion tweeting: "To state for the record, once again, you all are absolutely wrong. I've said it since February at Riviera that I'm here to stay on the PGA Tour and nothing has changed."
England's Matt Fitzpatrick, who triumphed in spectacular fashion at the US Open on Sunday, also reiterated his commitment to the established tours, saying: "I think whenever you've got Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy - I saw Collin Morikawa's come out and made a statement today – [world No 1] Scottie Scheffler... I feel like you've got some great players there.
"For me, they're more than good enough to compete with any rival tour that might want to try and take hold of golf. I'm not really concerned about it.
"I know that the PGA Tour is not going anywhere, the DP World Tour is not going anywhere, and I feel like that's the important thing for me is that I've got a place to play and that's where I want to play."
Koepka was asked prior to last week’s US Open about switching to LIV Golf, with the former world No 1 growing ever more irritated by the line of questioning.
Now ranked 19th in the global standings, Koepka told reporters: “I’m here at the US Open. I’m ready to play the US Open, and I think it kind of sucks, too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the US Open. It’s one of my favourite events. I don’t know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give [LIV Golf], the more you keep talking about it.”
Koepka continued: “I’m trying to focus on the US Open, man. I legitimately don’t get it. I’m tired of the conversations. I’m tired of all this stuff. Like I said, y’all are throwing a black cloud on the US Open. I think that sucks.
“I actually do feel bad for the [US Golf Association] for once because it’s a [expletive] situation. We’re here to play, and you are talking about an event that happened last week.”
Meanwhile, world No 20 Abraham Ancer was on Tuesday confirmed as having signed for LIV Golf, with the new venutre’s CEO Greg Norman saying in a statement: “Abraham’s global reach and star power in Mexico and Latin America makes him a great fit for LIV Golf, which is committed to growing the sport on a global scale, particularly in new and emerging markets.”
LIV Golf's next event runs June 30-July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Portland.