Rory McIlroy brands LIV Golf players ‘duplicitous’ as Koepka is latest to move

Rory McIlroy has labelled the players who have joined the LIV Golf Series “duplicitous” for the way they have handled their breakaway.

Brooks Koepka, the four-time major winner whose brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club in Hertfordshire this month, has signed up to the Saudi-backed invitational events. LIV Golf confirmed Koepka will play in the second 54-hole, 48-man tournament, which has a prize fund of $25m (£20.4m), in Portland, Oregon next week.

Only a few days ago the 32‑year‑old Koepka, who will be suspended by the PGA Tour as a result of his decision, complained that questions on the topic at Brookline were throwing a “black cloud” over the US Open. In March the former world No 1 Dustin Johnson also stressed his full commitment to the PGA Tour only to perform a U-turn three months later.

Asked whether he was surprised by Koepka’s decision, McIlroy, who is on the PGA Tour’s player advisory council, said: “Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he said previously.

“I think that’s why I’m surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another and I don’t understand.

“I don’t know if that’s for legal reasons or if they can’t – I have no idea – but it’s pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing. In public and in private.”

McIlroy is playing in the Travelers’ Championship in Connecticut this week, his fourth event in a row, and he says it is taking its toll. “I definitely feel like a little bit of fatigue setting in,” the world No 2 said.

“I got a night in my own bed down in Florida on Monday, which was really nice, but I came back up here yesterday and played the pro-am today. I must say yesterday my head hit the pillow and I was out so after sitting through a five-hour board meeting [with Tour officials] and trying to get through some of these issues.”