Report: DeChambeau, Reed join Saudi-funded league in US

Golf

Great champions Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed A British newspaper on Wednesday reported registering for the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf Invitational series in time for the competing circuit to play in US cities.

That Daily Telegraph says Greg Norman and his staff, who run LIV Golf Investments, plan to announce the last two departures from the PGA Tour on Friday.

The inaugural LIV Golf Invitational at Centurion Golf Club, featuring Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia, begins Thursday.

DeChambeau was among the first recruits for the Saudi league in January. That changed when Mickelson drew unwanted attention to the burgeoning league with interviews that slandered the PGA Tour and the Saudis who fund LIV Golf Investments.

Johnson was the biggest name to announce his support for the PGA Tour in February, and DeChambeau followed suit.

“While there has been much speculation surrounding my support for another tour, I want to make it absolutely clear that as long as the best players in the world play on the PGA Tour, I will do so,” DeChambeau said in a February statement.

When asked about his interest at the Memorial last week, DeChambeau said, “Personally, I don’t think I’m at a point at this point in my career where I can risk things like that.”

“I am loyal to my family that I have built with sponsors and everything around me. And right now, the world of golf is likely to change in some ways. I do not know what that is. Not my job I will just continue to play professional golf and enjoy playing with the best players in the world wherever it takes me.”

His agent said in a statement Wednesday that “Bryson has always been an innovator.”

“Having the opportunity to experience something unique on the ground floor has always fascinated him. Professional golf as we know it is changing and moving fast,” said Brett Falkoff of GSE Worldwide.

DeChambeau won the US Open in winged foot in 2020 at a time when he was captivating the sport of golf with his unconventional belief that more speed and more power would change the game. He added 40 pounds of muscle and mass, and his ball speed from the driver hit 200 mph. He also participated in long-distance exhibitions.

Reed won the 2018 Masters for his only major. Not only was he known for his courage and short game, he was also a major source of heckling in US galleries for removing sand from his golf ball in the Bahamas in 2019, which was a clear violation of the rules.

Players receive massive signing bonuses for joining Norman’s League. The Telegraph reports that Johnson received $150 million even before batting for $25 million in each of the eight LIV events on the schedule.

Mickelson was asked about reports that he received $200 million.

“I believe that contractual agreements should be private,” he said. “Doesn’t seem to be the case, but it should be.”

The first US event for the LIV series will be held in Pumpkin Ridge, Oregon the weekend before July 4th. The PGA Tour has not given its players clearances to compete outside of London this week and some have canceled their memberships.

Oregon is different as the PGA Tour does not allow releases for tournaments held in North America. It is still unclear whether the players who take the Saudi money with them can return to the PGA Tour.

The US Open said on Tuesday that will be the case Honor players who have qualified compete at the country club outside of Boston next week, and the British Open are expected to do the same.

Associated Press coverage.


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