Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion, and Patrick Reed, who won the 2018 Masters, are planning to join the new Saudi-backed LIV golf circuit that hopes to challenge the established PGA Tour, according to multiple reports.
Both golfers, unlike the majority of the top players entered this weekend’s inaugural LIV Golf event outside London, are still in the prime of their careers. DeChambeau, 28, has become one of golf’s most popular players because of his prodigious drives. Reed, 31, is an aggressive, feminist figure in the game known for quality performances at major events. Reed has won 12 tournaments in the United States and Europe and finished in the top 10 in each of the four major golf championships.
While DeChambeau and Reed are not in the field for the inaugural LIV Golf event, which begins Thursday, they will join a growing list of PGA Tour players who have been associated with the upstart league and will play this week. That group includes Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Kevin Na, Martin Kaymer and Talor Gooch. The only two that are ranked in the top 30 worldwide: Johnson is 15th, and Oosthuizen is 21st.
DeChambeau and Reed are expected to make their LIV Golf debut on June 30 at an event outside Portland, Ore. So far in 2022, both players have struggled. DeChambeau has missed the cut in four of his last five tournaments while Reed has missed the cut or finished out of the top 25 in 12 of 14 events. Both players are expected to compete in next week’s US Open in the suburbs of Boston. The United States Golf Association, which operates the US Open, said on Tuesday that players associated with the LIV Golf Circuit who were already qualified for the US Open, which includes DeChambeau and Reed, would be supported to play.
The Telegraph first reported that DeChambeau and Reed would commit to play in this year’s LIV Golf Invitational Series. The next event for the circuit is outside Portland, beginning June 30.
As recently as last week, DeChambeau was being enticed by the mammoth upfront payouts and appearance fees being offered by top golfers around the world by LIV Golf.
“Me, there’s obviously a lot of conversation,” DeChambeau said at the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament. “For me, I personally don’t think that at this point in time I’m in a place where I can risk things like that.”
DeChambeau’s agent, Brett Falkoff, issued a statement to a handful of news outlets on Wednesday: “Bryson has always been an innovator. Having the opportunity to get on the ground floor with something unique has always been intriguing to him. Professional golf as we know it is changing, and it is happening fast. “
DeChambeau and Reed will be most likely to be added to the list of tour members facing punishment from the PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan, who said players could play in the LIV golf events without permission from the PGA Tour or a lifetime ban. No tour player was allowed to play in this week’s event outside London.