RUMOUR: Is this the next PGA Tour star and major champion set to join LIV Golf?!

LIV Golf players Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Talor Gooch will be joined by PGA Tour star Gary Woodland for their Wednesday practice round at The Open. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 18 Jul 2023
RUMOUR: Is this the next PGA Tour star and major champion set to join LIV Golf?!

With recent news emerging that player transfers can continue on the PGA Tour and LIV Golf (at least for now), rumours have intensified at The Open this week that PGA Tour star and former US Open champion Gary Woodland is set to jump ship ahead of the 2024 season. 

That is all because of Wednesday's practice round draw at Royal Liverpool, which sees LIV Golf trio Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Talor Gooch going out with Woodland. 

Related: Brooks Koepka fires back at Rory McIlroy at The Open

Make of the fourball what you will, but it's certainly got golf fans talking on social media on the eve of the 151st Open Championship:

Koepka and Woodland are said to be very good friends and typically play practice rounds together. 

The potential acquisition of Woodland recently surfaced as a result of Matt Wolff falling out with Smash GC captain Koepka, who ripped into the one-time PGA Tour winner for his poor attitude at LIV Golf London earlier this month. 

Wolff said Koepka's scathing criticism of the 24-year-old golfer on the eve of LIV Golf London was 'heartbreaking'. 

Koepka absolutely unloaded on Wolff hours before the players were due to tee off at Centurion Club in Hemel Hempstead.

According to Koepka, he has now 'given up' on Wolff, accusing the American of 'giving up' during tournament rounds and having a poor attitude. 

Related: Wolff breaks putter at LIV event

Koepka claimed Wolff was 'a wasted talent'. 

"I've basically given up on him," Koepka told SI. "A lot of talent, but I mean the talent's wasted." 

Wolff then responded, telling the Guardian's Ewan Murray the comments were 'beyond disappointing'. 

In his response, Wolff alluded to struggles with his own mental health that has been well documented in recent years. 

Last month, LIV Golf's Koepka was already said to be "actively recruiting" PGA Tour star and former US Open champion Woodland to join his Smash GC, according to a popular LIV Golf fan page. 

Koepka, who won his third US PGA Championship in May, is apparently looking to recruit a fourth member ahead of the new season.

There is said to be a "clash of personalities" between Koepka and Wolff, and there is unlikely any resolution on the cards. 

At LIV Golf London, Koepka was seen 'shaking his head' when seeing Wolff finish bottom of the leaderboard. 

Koepka's Smash GC also includes his brother Chase and Jason Kokrak. 

Related: Ryder Cup hopeful banned and fined huge sum after LIV Golf involvement

According to LIV Golf Nation on Twitter, five-time major champion Koepka, 33, is trying to persuade his good friend and 2019 US Open champion Woodland, 39, to drop life on the PGA Tour and come and join his Smash GC.

"Word on the street is that Brooks Koepka is actively recruiting someone from the PGA Tour to join Team Smash," tweeted LIV Golf Nation. 

"The hot name mentioned is 2019 US Open Champion Gary Woodland who is friends with A LOT of LIV golfers.

"Only time will tell if there is any substance to the rumors."

Koepka and Woodland both came under fire at The Masters in April. 

That was because Koepka appeared to signal 'five' to Woodland and his caddie on the par-5 15th in reference to which club he was hitting into the green. 

On replay of the TV footage during round one of The Masters, it also appeared as though Koepka's caddie Elliott said 'five' two times to Woodland's caddie Brennan Little. 

The video was reviewed by tournament officials at Augusta National, but no penalties were awarded.

Paul McGinley was staggered by that call

Smash GC was further in the news recently following a shock rumour about Nike's $2 billion takeover of the team

It would appear as though Koepka wants his team to be hitting the gym early doors after they finished bottom of the pile in DC. 

Maybe that life isn't for Wolff?

Perhaps it will be for Woodland. 

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