PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh reveals he shared a joke with Brooks Koepka, NOT an awkward exchange after the PGA Championship, despite the boss previously criticizing the “flawed” LIV Golf.
- Some speculated that the pair shared a tense interaction at the trophy presentation.
- Seth Waugh seemed to walk away without meeting his eyes or shaking his hand.
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PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh has played down speculation of an awkward interaction with Brooks Koepka following the latter’s PGA Championship victory over the weekend.
Koepka notched his fifth major victory on Sunday when he edged out Viktor Hovland and newly crowned World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler to lift the Wanamaker trophy for the third time.
But some speculated that the five-time Grand Slam winner has a tense interaction with the PGA of America boss as he received the Wanamaker trophy for the third time in his career.
In the broadcast of the presentation, the 33-year-old could be seen standing next to the Wanamaker as Waugh made his way to briefly pose for a photo before quickly walking away without a handshake.
However, Waugh has since shut down the social media conspirators, explaining that the couple was actually sharing a joke.
PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh (L) shut down claims of discomfort with Brooks Koepka (R)
The PGA of America boss claimed he was joking with the newly crowned champion.
“I literally told him, ‘I think they have four million photos of me. They must have 24 million photos of you. I’ve never seen one of them and I don’t know if you ever have,'” Waugh said. Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis.
‘He laughed out loud, he laughed and we turned around and smiled at each other. That was it. Someone decided to think it was an insult and I hadn’t shaken their hand. I’ve already spoken to him five times since he won. I certainly shook his hand and told him how proud I was of him.
The PGA of America boss had posed near Koepka for a brief moment before taking a side step away from the newly crowned champion.
Seemingly unable to take it much longer, Waugh made a quick exit without a handshake or even eye contact with Koepka.
As the CEO walked away, he seemed to whisper something to the champion, who turned around and spread his hands smiling.
Speculation was intensified by the fact that Waugh had previously criticized LIV Golf.
Koepka is the first LIV player to win a major since leaving the PGA Tour last year.
Koepka scored his fifth major victory on Sunday to lift the Wanamaker trophy for the third time
“I think your logic about team play being a meaningful thing that people can get behind is flawed,” Waugh told The Times just 10 days ago. ‘I don’t think people really care. And I don’t see what a surviving business model looks like.
“They can finance it for as long as they want, but no matter how much money you have, at some point burning through it doesn’t feel very good. I don’t see that they are achieving much.
Waugh is also a board member of the Official World Golf Ranking, which is considering LIV’s application for recognition.
The application was filed last July, but Waugh said it would be a long process.
“There are certain parts of its structure that can be solved with mathematics, but there may be some quite fundamental things that are more difficult,” Waugh added. ‘There’s the potential conflict with what the team looks like and then access – how do you get down and up?
“They had our last response weeks ago and we have not heard back. They have made a wrong assumption that this will be a quick process. It never has been. Each application has taken over a year as far as I know.
Koepka posed with the trophy after his victory with members of the PGA of America
‘I can’t speculate (how long it will take) because they haven’t responded. They may also have to figure things out, and it’s not clear if they’re willing to do that.’
However, Waugh mentioned his hope for civility among the rebels and PGA Tour loyalists at his main organization after the first of the year, the Masters.
“The good news is that the Masters came first and it set the stage for, frankly, the courtesy,” he said. ‘That’s the tone we want: no one died, right?
‘I’ve lived in a world of disruption my entire business career, and disruption is generally healthy. It makes you better, and the game is better.’