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PGA of America boss Seth Waugh has downplayed suggestions of a rift with Brooks Koepka after their awkward exchange during the Oak Hill trophy presentation.

A resurgent Koepka claimed his third Wanamaker trophy with a two-shot victory at the PGA Championship in Rochester on Sunday.

Koepka’s fifth major title also represented a significant milestone for LIV Golf, as a player plying their trade on the Saudi-backed circuit tasted major success for the first time.

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And there appeared to be an awkward moment at the ceremony on the 18th green between Waugh and Koepka that had social media in a mini-frenzy on Sunday evening.

Waugh, a vocal critic of the LIV business model, posed for the obligatory photos with the champion, but then walked away from Koepka without making eye contact, with the lack of a handshake between the pair also a talking point.

However, Waugh has dismissed the social media theories in an interview with the Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, insisting a fun interaction was blown way out of proportion.

“I literally said to him ‘I think they have four million pictures of me, they must have 24 million of you. I’ve never seen one of them and I don’t know if you ever have.

“He cracked up, he laughed and we kind of turned around and smiled at each other. That was it. Somebody chose to think that was a dis and I hadn’t shaken his hand.

“I already talked to him five times since he won. I certainly shook his hand and told him how proud I was of him. It couldn’t be sillier or further from the truth and everybody is trying to make it into this LIV thing which it’s got nothing to do with.”

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The exchange between Koepka and Waugh had been particularly scrutinised given the PGA of America chief executive and OWGR board member’s stance on the LIV series prior to the start of his tournament.

“Their logic about the team play being something significant that people can get behind I think is flawed,” Waugh told the Times last week.

“I don’t think people really care about it. And I don’t see how it’s a survivable business model.

“They can fund it for as long as they want to, but no matter how much money you have, at some point burning it doesn’t feel very good. I don’t see they are accomplishing much.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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