BROOKLINE, Massachusetts. Less than two weeks after Bryson DeChambeau said it would be a “risk” to leave the PGA Tour, he joined rival team LIV Golf.
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So what happened?
“It was primarily a business decision,” DeChambeau said Monday at the US Open. These are his first public comments since LIV announced that he has joined the upstart league and plans to debut later this month at Pumpkin Ridge.
– That’s all. It gave me a lot more options besides playing golf and gave me more time with my family and my future family. So for me, that was the solution.”
DeChambeau has long been linked to the Saudi-backed scheme, but after a wave of top players confirmed their commitment to the PGA Tour in February, DeChambeau was in the lineup too. Last week at Memorial, he said he plans to continue on the PGA Tour against the world’s best players, telling reporters of the potential jump: “Personally, I don’t think I’m at a point in my career right now where I can take risks. things like that.”
The first $25 million LIV tournament was already taking place outside of London, and reports suggested that tournament officials had significantly upped their offerings to players. DeChambeau acknowledged on Monday that the financial commitment – reportedly being offered more than $100 million to participate – played a major role in his decision.
Full playing time at the US Open
“It took a lot of money and a lot of time,” he said. “I have a life outside of golf.”
Part of DeChambeau’s future plans is a multi-sport facility (with an attached charter school) in Dallas, where he hopes to create a place for truckers to hone their skills, with an eye to potentially hosting a world championship in long-distance driving.
The more pressing issue is what is happening to DeChambeau’s playability. Seventeen former and current PGA Tour players were suspended last week after they competed in an LIV event without posting conflicting events. Commissioner Jay Monahan said all future LIV players would face the same punishment.
“This is not my decision,” DeChambeau said. “It’s someone else’s decision that makes it for me.”
DeChambeau, who intends to play the remainder of the eight-tournament LIV schedule, has not yet relinquished his Tour membership and has said he would like to continue playing Tour tournaments, specifically mentioning the Arnold Palmer Memorial and Invitation. Despite being listed as a contender for the following week’s Travelers Championship, DeChambeau withdrew, stating that he did not want to be a distraction.
When asked why he still wants to play on tour despite being a member of a rival network, he said, “Because I want to play where people can see great entertainment. I want to bring it to wherever I am.”
DeChambeau said he understands his decision will generate mixed reactions from golf enthusiasts, and he also acknowledged the controversial source of LIV’s funding through the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
“What happened was not good,” he said, “but they are moving towards the right decision based on what I see and what we talked about.”
After making what he called a “very difficult” decision that he had struggled with for years, DeChambeau said he believed “a lot of good things will come out of it eventually.”
“At the end of the day,” he said, “it was a business decision for my family’s future, and it gave me a lot of free time, so it cleared up a lot for me.”