ST. ALBANS, England (AP) — Former U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau became the latest big name to sign on with the Saudi-funded breakaway LIV Golf series, confirming Friday he will play upcoming events in the United States.
It is an about-turn by DeChambeau, who had previously said he would continue playing on the PGA Tour. That may not be possible now, as the PGA Tour announced Thursday that players who defect to the renegade series will face banishment from future tour events.
DeChambeau will be joining a series that already features Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, who are contesting the first LIV Golf event outside London this week. DeChambeau’s signing was announced as the second round was taking place at Centurion Club, where golfers spent much of the pre-tournament news conferences answering questions about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
The 28th-ranked American could make his LIV Golf debut at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon, from June 30.
“He is passionate about the sport, innovative in his approach and committed to pushing the boundaries in pursuit of excellence,” LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said in a statement. “He’s not afraid to think outside the box and supports our mission of doing things differently to grow our game. The power and energy he brings to the course will deliver added electricity to our competition in Portland and beyond.”
DeChambeau won the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 2020 at a time when he captivated golf with his out-of-the-box thinking that more speed and more power would change the game. He added 40 pounds of muscle and mass and his ball speed off the driver hit 200 mph. He also competed in long drive exhibitions.
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