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Koepka’s Coach Fires Back At LIV Golf Criticism

Golf instructor Claude Harmon III praised Brooks Koepka for winning the PGA Championship, marking the first major title for LIV Golf. Harmon defended LIV Golf against criticism of weak competition and high appearance fees. He called out Eamon Lynch and Brandel Chamblee as critics, mentioning their past associations with controversial events. Harmon has coached several major champions, including Koepka.

USA Today: Claude Harmon III slams media, critics of LIV Golf as star pupil wins fifth major

Steve Gardner; May 24, 2023

Golf instructor Claude Harmon III is basking in the glow of his prized pupil, Brooks Koepka, winning the PGA Championship last weekend at Oak Hill.

In doing so, Koepka became the first member of LIV Golf to win a major title, giving the fledgling circuit a huge boost in the wake of significant criticism from the PGA Tour and the media.

Harmon was quick to point out Koepka wasn’t hurt by what many in the media perceived as a lack of competition at LIV events because of its hefty appearance fees and no cuts.

“The golf that I saw Brooks play at the end of the year is the same golf that is being played on the PGA Tour. You guys just tried to pretend that it wasn’t,” Harmon told GolfWeek’s Adam Schupak.

“I think it is an interesting Jedi mind trick that they played on you guys and you guys fell for it. Because you guys were all, ‘These guys were all washed up. They took the bag. They’re insignificant. They play against no competition.’ And that’s just not the case.”

Harmon also singled out GolfWeek writer Eamon Lynch and NBC Sports commentator Brandel Chamblee, whom he called a “paid actor,” as the two have been among the most vocal critics of LIV Golf and its backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

“I think Eamon is a fantastic writer, but for Eamon Lynch and Brandel Chamblee, who worked for NBC Golf Channel to utter the words ‘sports washing’ when the company they work for televised the last two Winter Olympics in Russia and China with the same leaders that they’ve had. It’s not like they were good leaders back then. It’s not like Putin was a good guy, right?”

Koepka’s victory on Sunday was his fifth major title — and the eighth for Harmon as a swing instructor. The son of legendary golf coach Butch Harmon also worked with 2012 British Open champion Ernie Els, as well as U.S. Open and Masters champ Dustin Johnson.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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