US PGA champion Brooks Koepka was seen dialling up for a new golf club during the first round of LIV Golf Washington DC after noticing a crack in his driver on his first few holes at Trump National GC.
Koepka returned to LIV Golf League action just five days after etching his name on the famous Wanamaker Trophy for a third time with a fairly lacklustre round of level-par 72.
But the round was certainly not without a bit of drama.
By the time Koepka played his fifth hole in the shotgun start, he discovered a crack in his Srixon ZX5 LS MK II Driver that he had used to devastating effect at Oak Hill.
Related: Brooks Koepka WITB 2023
The issue for Koepka is that golfers are not allowed to replace a club if there is only a crack in the clubhead or club face.
Uber Eats ... Uber Golf— 7Sport (@7Sport) May 26, 2023
Brooks Koepka is ordering a new driver after cracking the one from his bag! @livgolf_league | #LIVGolf pic.twitter.com/IJAX11tKBt
Under Rule 4.1b(3), golfers are not allowed to replace clubs that they damaged during a round.
They are, however, allowed to repair a club and continue using it as a result of the changes made to the rule in 2019.
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If the golf club in question was damaged by "an outside influence or natural force" then replacing it is permitted.
But in the case of Koepka in the first round of LIV Golf Washington DC, his Srixon driver was deemed cracked simply as a result of wear and tear.
When it comes to LIV Golf tournaments, brands do not send their Tour trucks on site like they typically do at a PGA Tour or DP World Tour event.
There is said to be an independent van or fitter at LIV Golf League events though to help players with incidents such as the one that faced Koepka in the first round.
The future of tour vans at LIV Golf events was something we discussed last season.
Normal wear and tear on tee shot. Damaged wasn’t deemed significant when he tried to swap.— Guy in Corn Fields (@guyincornfields) May 26, 2023
After being informed by an on-course referee he was not allowed to replace his driver during his round, Koepka immediately jumped on the phone to order a new driver while striding down the fairway.
Either that or he just fancied a mid-round conversation with his wife Jena Sims.
Koepka was forced to use his TaylorMade M2 Tour HL 3-wood off the tee and his trusty Nike driving Vapor Fly Pro Driving Iron for the remainder of the round, which no doubt had some effect on his round of 72 that contained two bogeys and two birdies.
At the top of the leaderboard, Harold Varner III is setting the early pace on 8-under par.
James Piot is in second place on 6-under par with Kevin Na, Andy Ogletree, Mito Pereira and Open champion Cameron Smith two strokes back on 4-under par.
Smith hit one of the shots of the day with this beauty from outside of 220 yards:
Cam Smith continues to amaze us. This shot is just ridiculous.#LIVGolf @rippergc_ pic.twitter.com/AiRS4Q2hww— LIV Golf (@livgolf_league) May 26, 2023
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