Brooks Koepka says he won't be joining Premier Golf League

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Brooks Koepka hits to the 16th green during a practice round for The Players Championship golf tournament Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Brooks Koepka said Sunday he has no interest in the Premier Golf League, another setback to a league promising guaranteed money and a team concept that now is missing some of golf's biggest young stars.

“I am out of the PGL. I'm going with the PGA Tour,” Koepka told The Associated Press. “I have a hard time believing golf should be about just 48 players.”

Later Sunday, Golfweek reported that world No. 2 Jon Rahm said he will not join, meaning the world's top three players are sticking with the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy, who replaced Koepka at No. 1 in the world a month ago, said last month in Mexico City that he was not interested in the new league. He said he valued his freedom to decide when and where to play instead of the proposed schedule of 18 tournaments, not including the majors.

Koepka said he made up his mind after meeting with organizers in Los Angeles a month ago during the Genesis Invitational, wanting to wait for a time when any announcement would not become a distraction. He had said at the start of the Florida swing only that “I want to play against the best.”

With golf shutting down over concerns about the new coronavirus, he wanted it made clear he wasn't going anywhere.

Koepka, now No. 3 in the world, and McIlroy cited the freedom he enjoys on the PGA Tour. Koepka also spoke about the majority of the PGA Tour who he fears would be left out if all the attention was heaped on top stars competing in a team format.

“I get that the stars are what people come to see,” Koepka said. “But these guys who we see win, who have been grinding for 10 or 15 years, that's what makes the cool stories. I'd have a hard time looking at guys and putting them out of a job.”