Two more star golfers are set to ditch the PGA Tour for a new Saudi-backed and Trump endorsed LIV Golf Series. Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed are expected to join LIV according to a report in The Telegraph.
The pair of major winners are following Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to the new league although Mickelson has said he wants to try to keep his PGA membership and play in LIV. The PGA may not be on board with that so we shall see.
“Bryson has always been an innovator. Having the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something unique has always been intriguing to him,” DeChambeau’s agent Brett Falkoff said. “Professional golf as we know it is changing and it’s happening quickly.”
DeChambeau won the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot. Reed is the 2018 Masters champ,
They are not in the field for this week’s inaugural event in London, but they have signed multi-million dollar deals to join the league.
Greg Norman, the frontman for the new league said of Phil Mickelson joining:
“Phil Mickelson is unequivocally one of the greatest golfers of this generation. His contributions to the sport and connection to fans around the globe cannot be overstated and we are grateful to have him. He strengthens an exciting field for London where we’re proud to launch a new era for golf.”
Mickelson said earlier “this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.
“They’ve been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no recourse. As nice a guy as Monahan comes across as, unless you have leverage, he won’t do what’s right.
“And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure I even want the SGL to succeed, but just the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the PGA Tour.
“I don’t know where things are headed, but I know I will be criticized.
“The media rights are but a small fraction of everything else. And it is the Tour’s obnoxious greed that has really opened the door for opportunities elsewhere,” he said.
Dustin Johnson also joined the LIV Golf league. “I resigned my membership from the Tour and I’m going to play here, for now. That’s the plan,” Johnson said in a news conference Tuesday morning.
“What the consequences are going to be I can’t comment on how the Tour’s going to handle it. I can’t answer for the majors, but hopefully they’re going to allow us to play.”
“The Ryder Cup is unbelievable and has definitely meant a lot to me,” Johnson added. “I’m proud to say I’ve played and represented my country and hopefully I will get a chance to do that again, but I don’t make the rules.”
“If someone wants to play on a Ryder Cup for the U.S.,” PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said last year, “they’re going to need to be a member of the PGA of America, and they get that membership through being a member of the PGA Tour.”
“Dustin’s been contemplating this for the past two years and decided it was in his and his family’s best interest to pursue it,” Johnson’s agent David Winkle said. “He’s never had any issue with the PGA Tour and is grateful for all it’s given him but in the end felt this was too compelling to pass up.”
Other leading golfers making the move include Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Kevin Na, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel and Talor Gooch.
Trump backed the new league and after the PGA of America yanked a major tournament from Trump’s club in Bedminster.
“The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster.” — Jim Richerson, PGA of America President”
The LIV will host an event at Trump National Doral, Miami, USA.
The full list of events in the LIV series are below:
9-11 June: Centurion Golf Club – London, England
1-3 July: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club – Portland, USA
29-31 July: Trump National Golf Club Bedminster – New Jersey, USA
2-4 September: The International – Boston, USA
16-18 September: Rich Harvest Farms – Chicago, USA
7-9 October: Stonehill Golf Club – Bangkok, Thailand
14-16 October: Royal Greens Golf Club – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
27-30 October: Team Championship, Trump National Doral, Miami, USA