HERTFORDSHIRE, England — Bryson DeChambeau is headed to the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
In making official what was reported by SI.com/Morning Read and several outlets on Wednesday, DeChambeau, 28, is moving to the rival circuit beginning with the event June 30-July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge outside of Portland, Oregon.
“Bryson DeChambeau is an exciting addition to LIV Golf’s supercharged style of play. He is passionate about the sport, innovative in his approach and committed to pushing the boundaries in pursuit of excellence,” said Greg Norman, LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner. “He’s not afraid to think outside the box and supports our mission of doing things differently to grow our game. The power and energy he brings to the course will deliver added electricity to our competition in Portland and beyond.”
DeChambeau is one of the game’s longest drivers and transformed his body to gain length off the tee. He is currently ranked 28th in the world. In addition to his eight Tour victories, DeChambeau has six runner-up finishes and 40 top-10 finishes since turning pro in 2015. As an amateur, he became only the fifth player in history to win both the NCAA Division I championship and the U.S. Amateur in the same year.
“I think that’s huge,” said Branden Grace, a two-time PGA Tour winner now in LIV Golf. “We have guys who really bring guys out. Dustin (Johnson) gave the whole thing a big boost. Bryson is one of the 10 guys who pulls the crowds in. I think it’s going to be fun having him around. I think it’s huge.’’
The 2020 U.S. Open champion had long been discussed as one of the players considering a move to the new series of tournaments. Patrick Reed is also expected to be announced in the coming days.
In February, when controversy erupted over comments critical of the PGA Tour by Phil Mickelson, there was a massive shift with several players coming out in support of the PGA Tour and backing off talk with LIV Golf. DeChambeau was one of them.
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The original plan was for LIV Golf to start a league comprised of 14 tournaments this year with a team element a big part of the profile. LIV Golf pivoted to a series of eight tournaments this year with 10 scheduled for 2023 and the launch of the league in 2024.
Despite all the negativity, LIV golf managed to secure several well-known players including Mickelson, two-time major champion Dustin Johnson, former major champions Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel, along with longtime European stars Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter. All of them are competing this weekend at Centurion Club in the inaugural $25 million event.
“I think the more the merrier,’’ said Kaymer, who has won the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Players Championship. “I think it’s great obviously for the (LIV) tour and for us players that even better players are coming out here. I don’t know how the field will look in Portland, but as I said if you can play against more players who are up there in the World Rankings, and it’s also proof that this tour here and this tournament is going into the right direction.’’
DeChambeau, who has eight PGA Tour victories, has mostly endured a lost 2022 as he has dealt with injuries, including a broken bone in his left hand that required surgery. He attempted to return too soon, missed the cut at the Masters, and then didn’t play again until last week’s Memorial Tournament, where he again missed the cut.
DeChambeau there was asked about LIV Golf, and his answer suggested he would be sticking with the PGA Tour.
“Every person out here has their own opinion on it,” he said. “For me, I personally don’t think that at this point in time I’m in a place in my career where I can risk things like that.
“I’m loyal to my family that I’ve created around me with sponsors and everything. And as of right now, the golf world is probably going to change in some capacity.
“I don’t know what that is. Not my job to do so. I’m just going to keep playing professional golf and enjoy it wherever it takes me, play with the best players in the world. That’s really all I’ve got, that’s what I’ll do for the rest of my life, because I want to be one of the best players in the world.”
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