Bryson DeChambeau is CONFIRMED to be joining the Saudi-backed LIV Series in a huge U-turn

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Former US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau has been officially confirmed as joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, tournament officials have announced.

DeChambeau had previously been linked to the breakaway circuit but said in February that ‘as long as the best players in the world are playing the PGA Tour, so will I.’

Dustin Johnson also said he was ‘fully committed’ to the PGA Tour on the same day, but subsequently resigned his membership and is competing in the opening £20milion, 54-hole event at Centurion Club this week.

Minutes after the first shots were struck on Thursday, the PGA Tour suspended all 17 players in the field who were taking part, despite having been turned down for the required releases, and said ‘the same fate holds true’ for players participating in future LIV Golf events.

The breakaway tour has sent shockwaves through the game after snapping up some of the sport’s top talent for eye-watering signing on fees ahead of its inaugural event at St Albans on Thursday.  

Other top names such as Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell have also defected. 

Former US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau has been officially confirmed as competing in the Saudi-backed LIV series

Former US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau has been officially confirmed as competing in the Saudi-backed LIV series

DeChambeau's decision comes shortly after suggesting he would not take part in the series

DeChambeau’s decision comes shortly after suggesting he would not take part in the series

It comes after DeChambeau was cut by sponsor Rocket Mortgage over his ties to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.

The American company made the decision following DeChambeau became the latest big hitter in the golfing world to defect to the series.

DeChambeau had been an ambassador of the mortgage loan provider since April 2021 and had won the Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2020.

A statement from the Detroit-based company, as per the Detroit News, said:  ‘Rocket Mortgage has been a long-time supporter of the PGA Tour, both through our role as an official partner and as a tournament host.

DeChambeau has had a sponsorship deal pulled due to his ties with the Saudi-backed series

DeChambeau has had a sponsorship deal pulled due to his ties with the Saudi-backed series

Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell have also seen sponsorship deals with the Royal Bank of Canada terminated while UPS have also dropped their own agreement with Lee Westwood

Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell have also seen sponsorship deals with the Royal Bank of Canada terminated while UPS have also dropped their own agreement with Lee Westwood

‘The Rocket Mortgage Classic has quickly become a fixture on the Tour, with players coming to Detroit to compete, while also raising crucial funds to help bridge the digital divide in our city.

‘Our partnership with the PGA Tour extends to include several prominent golfers, including Bryson DeChambeau, as ambassadors of the Rocket Mortgage brand.

DeChambeau is a former US Open winner, having triumphed at Winged Foot in 2020, and with his monstrously long driving is one of the biggest draws in the game. Reed is a former Masters winner, claiming the green jacket in 2018. 

DeChambeau’s decision is particularly peculiar, having only last week publicly suggested his inclination to avoid quitting the PGA Tour for the forseeable future.

ENTRANTS FOR FIRST LIV GOLF INVITATIONAL SERIES EVENT 

Dustin Johnson (USA)

Phil Mickleson (USA)

Kevin Na (USA) 

Talor Gooch (USA)

Sihwan Kim (USA)

Chase Koepka (USA)

Andy Ogletree (USA)

Turk Pettit (USA)

James Piot (USA)

Hudson Swafford (USA)

Peter Uihlein (USA)

Sergio Garcia (ESP)

Pablo Larrazabal (ESP)

Adrian Otaegui (ESP)

David Puig (ESP)

Martin Kaymer (GER)

Graeme McDowell (NIR)

Ian Poulter (ENG)

Lee Westwood (ENG)

Richard Bland (ENG)

Laurie Canter (ENG)

Oliver Fisher (ENG)

Sam Horsfield (ENG)

Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)

Oliver Bekker (RSA)

Hennie Du Plessis (RSA)

Branden Grace (RSA)

Justin Harding (RSA)

Shaun Norris (RSA)

JC Ritchie (RSA)

Charl Scwartzel (RSA)

Ian Snyman (RSA)

Matt Jones (AUS)

Jediah Morgan (AUS)

Wade Ormsby (AUS)

Travis Smyth (AUS)

Blake Windred (AUS)

Kevin Yuan (AUS) 

Hideto Tanihara (JPN)

Ryosuke Kinoshita (JPN) 

Jinichiro Kozuma (JPN)

Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 

Ratchanon Chantananuwat (THA)

Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA)

Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 

Viraj Madappa (IND) 

Scott Vincent (ZIM) 

Bernd Wiesberger (AUT)

 

The 28-year-old 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.’

The Telegraph also report that fellow American Rickie Fowler is on the cusp of joining the LIV Series, too. The 33-year-old has finished in the top three at least once at every single major event. 

Rickie Fowler is reported to be close to confirming his move to the new circuit, too

Rickie Fowler is reported to be close to confirming his move to the new circuit, too

Meanwhile, Mickelson has refused to say whether or not he has been banned from the PGA Tour after his defection to LIV Golf, insisting he has earned his lifetime membership and should not be forced to give it up.

Mickelson, the latest confirmed defector from the PGA, spoke to the press on Wednesday ahead of tee off at the Centurion Club on Thursday.

The 51-year-old, who is reportedly to be paid £160m for taking part in the tour, told reporters: ‘I’ve been a part of the tour for over 30 years and I’ve had a lot of incredible memories and experiences, tournaments that I’ve won and lost.

‘I’ve gained a lot, received a lot and I’m grateful for everything the tour has done for me. I’ve also worked hard to contribute and build and add value to the tour in my time there.’

Phil Mickelson has refused to say whether or not he has been banned from the PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson has refused to say whether or not he has been banned from the PGA Tour

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