Bryson DeChambeau at LIV Golf: Former Major Champion Set to Join Rival League for First All-American Event in Portland

Bryson DeChambeau at LIV Golf: Former Major Champion Set to Join Rival League for First All-American Event in Portland

LIV Golf is done for a week. After landing Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson for his first event at the Centurion Club in London this week, LIV Golf’s first draft took place on Tuesday night and everyone in the golfing world was obsessed with the spectacle of it all. Now the league is adding 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau with more rumors to follow soon after.

DeChambeau will join the Saudi-backed league, likely for his second event at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon, June 30-July 2. While his name has been rumored for some time, it’s still a bit of a surprise and gives LIV Golf a ton of momentum as it heads into its inaugural eight-event season.

“Bryson has always been an innovator,” his agent said in a statement. “Having the opportunity to step into the ground floor of something unique has always intrigued him. Professional golf as we know it is changing and it’s happening fast.”

After missing time through injury, DeChambeau made his first PGA Tour appearance in several months last week at the Memorial Tournament, where he missed the cut. His intentions have clearly changed over the past seven days.

“I think it’s mostly – a lot of it is private,” DeChambeau said last week at Muirfield Village. “There aren’t really any conversations about it, other than, for example, every person here has their own opinion about it. Me, there’s obviously a lot of conversation. For me, personally , I don’t think that at this point I’m at a point 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 right now the world of golf is probably going to change to some degree. I don’t know what it is. It’s not my job I’m just going to continue to play professional golf and enjoy it wherever it takes me, playing with the best players in the world That’s really all I have, that’s what I I will do for the rest of my life, because I want to be one of the best players in the world.”

Rick Gehman and Kyle Porter discuss reports that Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed will be joining the LIV Golf Invitational series. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple podcast and Spotify.

It’s another blow for LIV Golf, which landed more notable names in its debut than anyone expected. It’s also a problem for the PGA Tour, which has been pretty quiet so far on specific disciplinary action for players who jump ship for the rival league. A PGA Tour player I spoke with expects a harsh statement from the Tour over the next two days, and I think that will come as soon as the balls are in the air on Thursday in London and the players play officially in the event.

LIV Golf may not be done adding players either. According to multiple sources, 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed is set to join DeChambeau in the LIV golf league. Sources also told CBS Sports that more big names are expected to be added in the coming days, with a list potentially including Jason Kokrak, Rickie Fowler and Harold Varner III. Like I said all alonghow the major league organizations handle all of this is likely going to determine how it plays out going forward.

The USGA announced on Tuesday that players in the LIV golf league would also be allowed to play the 2022 US Open from June 16-19, but that didn’t take a long-term stance on the league. It appears that the four major organizations want to withhold OWGR points from LIV golf events in hopes that players who jump into the rival PGA Tour league will eventually qualify for all four majors because they can’t earn enough points to qualify.

Either way, the PGA Tour is in a tough spot. With players ejected from the Tour and heading towards the perception of greener pastures and also resigning from the Tour in clusters, their line of recourse is extremely limited. There is no end in sight to this either. The last six months have been curious and intriguing when it comes to the divide in professional golf, but the next six will shape the future of the sport for a very long time.

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