May 22, 2024

Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka’s struggles continued at the PGA Championship with just one LIV Golf star winning a major since the start of the bitter civil war.


Johnson, 39, has played eight majors since joining LIV and he has finished inside the top 20 just twice, placing 10th at the U.S. Open last year and tied for sixth at St. Andrews in the 2022 British Open.


As for Koepka, he was the last, and only LIV Golf star to win a major since the league started, winning the PGA Championship in 2023. Since then, though, Koepka has finished three straight majors out of the top 25.


He finished 45th at the Masters and tied for 26th at the PGA Championship this year. “Not very good,” Koepka said, responding to questions on his major form. “I think it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?”


The problem goes beyond Johnson and Koepka. One of LIV Golf’s latest big-name acquisitions, Jon Rahm, struggled at the Masters since jumping ship from the PGA Tour, and the Spaniard also missed the cut at the PGA Championship.


And with a merger between the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and the DP World Tour, that time couldn’t come sooner for Johnson and Co. However, Johnson doesn’t believe those who stayed with the PGA Tour should be paid loyalty bonuses. “No, I don’t,” Johnson said on the second season of the Netflix series “Full Swing.”


“The guys that went to LIV, we took a lot of criticism. We’re the ones that took the risk for everything. So why should they be compensated? Obviously, if this merger comes along, there’s gonna be a lot of guys who wish they would’ve signed.”

Koepka is the only LIV Golf star to win a major since the league started ( Image: PGA of America via Getty Images)

The two-time major winner reportedly made upwards of £100 million for jumping ship to the Saudi breakaway tour, while the likes of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods stayed loyal. Last month, the PGA Tour contacted 193 players who meet the criteria for the £731m from a “Player Equity Program” under the new PGA Tour Enterprises.


Woods reportedly earned £78.6m, while McIlroy pocketed £39.3m. The latter has softened his stance on LIV Golf, though, having started out as one of the league’s biggest critics. “I think what LIV has done, it’s exposed the flaws in the system of what golf has because we’re all supposed to be independent contractors and we can pick and choose what tournaments we want to play,” he said.


“But I think what LIV and the Saudis have exposed is that you’re asking for millions of dollars to sponsor these events, and you’re not able to guarantee to the sponsors that the players are going to show up. I can’t believe the PGA Tour has done so well for so long.”


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