Palm Beach County native Brooks Koepka is embarking on a new phase in his professional golf career.
Koepka, 32, is set to debut on the LIV Golf Invitational Series in Portland on June 28 after splitting from the traditional PGA Tour.
The four-time major champion is one of the most successful players to depart from the PGA Tour, which banned all defectors from competing in future events. Koepka remains eligible for golf's traditional majors.
Here are five things to know about this Palm Beach County sports star:
1. Brooks Koepka is Palm Beach County's own
Born in West Palm Beach, a graduate of Cardinal Newman and a resident of Jupiter, Koepka refined his craft locally en route to the top of the world golf rankings.
Koepka frequented local golf staples, even earning the nickname "Okeeheelee Kid" from pros for his exploits at Okeeheelee Golf Course. He got an early start on varsity golf playing at Wellington Christian in middle school.
He shot a final-round 66 to win the Class 1A state championship as a junior with Cardinal Newman in 2007.
Koepka was a three-time All-American at Florida State before turning pro in 2012.
2. Major golf tournament contender
An eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, Koepka developed a reputation for elite play in golf's major tournaments.
He won back-to-back U.S. Open ('17-18) and PGA Championship ('18-19) titles in a dominant three-year stretch.
He won two majors and rose to world No. 1 in 2018, but may have enjoyed his best overall year in 2019: Koepka won the PGA Championship, took runner-up at the Masters, runner-up at the U.S. Open and fourth at The Open Championship. He missed only one cut in 2019.
While he hasn't won a major since 2019, Koepka maintained his big-tournament play in 2021, finishing sixth or better at the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and The Open Championship.
Koepka is tied for 20th-most career major championships, tied with players like Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Raymond Floyd.
3. Golf exhibitions
Koepka has shown an openness to new ideas in golf after his involvement in The Match exhibitions with players like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson Dechambeau.
His "feud" with Dechambeau led to the 12-hole Bryson vs. Brooks match at Wynn Golf Club in Nevada. Koepka won on Dechambeau's concession after nine holes.
According to Nielsen, the episode drew more than 600,000 viewers.
4. Physical ailments
Koepka has managed hip and lower body injuries in recent years, undergoing knee surgery in March 2021.
The ailments have coincided with a decline in weekly contention: Koepka has missed 17 cuts on the PGA Tour over the last three seasons. He missed just seven cuts from 2017-19.
5. Moving to LIV Golf
LIV Golf announced Koepka as its latest member on June 22. He'll debut as a team captain at the series' next event in Portland from June 30-July 1.
Koepka will be gunning for the top prize of $4 million with a first place finish. Payouts include $2,125,000 to second, $1,500,000 to third, and $1,050,000 for fourth. Additional prizes are distributed based on team winners.
For comparison, Koepka made $5.2 million over 20 events during the 2020-21 season. He enjoyed his top earning year with $9.3 million in winnings in 2019.
Koepka earned $37,989,632 on the PGA Tour prior to jumping to LIV Golf.
How to watch LIV Golf Tour
Eric J. Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: LIV Golf captain Brooks Koepka: 5 things to know about golf pro