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Brooks Koepka, a LIV golfer, simply received the PGA Championship. Will it change the sport?

Earlier than the Masters in April, essentially the most we had seen of Brooks Koepka in current occasions had been within the Netflix documentary Full Swing.

In an episode virtually solely devoted to Koepka, we acquired an in-depth take a look at a few of his final months on the PGA Tour, a missed lower on the 2022 Masters and his eventual resolution to depart with golf’s traditions and be part of the controversial breakaway LIV Golf league.

It was a portrait of a fallen big. Between 2017 and 2019, Koepka received 4 majors and have become the game’s most dominant big-game drive. When the lights have been brightest, Koepka emerged like solely the greats can.

Then got here damage within the type of debilitating knee points, the sort that made it powerful for Koepka to stroll, not to mention swing a golf membership. This man whose complete identification had been cast by easy dominance — a pure athlete bullying a buttoned-up sport — abruptly could not dominate anymore.

That was the Koepka we noticed in Full Swing. Downtrodden, misplaced, coming to phrases with a brand new actuality he had by no means imagined for himself. The grand takeaway from all of it was one Koepka quote — “I can not compete with these guys week in, week out”.

Twelve months later, Koepka is a significant champion once more. Two issues have modified in his life to take him from his lowest level to the highest of the mountain once more — he acquired wholesome, and he joined LIV Golf.

Koepka joined the breakway LIV Golf league in 2022.()

As a lot as this victory is Koepka’s alone, it is going to even be framed as one for his Saudi-backed, Greg Norman-led golf league.

The golf world has typically pontificated what would occur when a LIV participant received a significant. That it has come at solely the fourth time of asking will solely add to the burden of these questions.

If nothing else, the primary two majors of 2023 have solely quashed the notion that becoming a member of LIV is a loss of life sentence for a participant’s profession.

Typical knowledge had pushed the concept that forgoing the grind of the PGA Tour for LIV — the place there is no such thing as a lower throughout occasions, the cash is assured and there’s little to no threat of shedding your home — would see the aggressive juices begin to dry up, leaving these gamers wanting follow and at a drawback in the course of the majors.

Koepka is the twentieth man to win 5 main championships.()

For some gamers, perhaps that will be true. However for a lot of the guys that made the swap, the precise reverse is bearing out. From the surface, it seems that a step again from the week-to-week scrap has solely served to maintain the batteries charged for those that matter, and Koepka is entrance of that record.

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