Bryson DeChambeau: LIV Golf refuse to deny American will join Saudi-funded series

By Peter ScrivenerBBC Sport at Centurion Club
Bryson DeChambeau hitting a tee shot
DeChambeau missed the cut at last week's Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour

Bryson DeChambeau's agent has fuelled speculation that the major champion is set to join the fledgling $250m Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Officials from LIV Golf have refused to deny reports that DeChambeau and fellow Americans Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler have signed up to play.

"Bryson has always been an innovator," said his agent Brett Falkoff.

"Having the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something unique has always been intriguing to him."

He added: "Pro golf, as we know, is changing and it's happening quickly."

In February, DeChambeau denied he was offered £100m to join the LIV Golf set-up. He wrote on Twitter: "While there has been a lot of speculation surrounding my support for another tour, I want to make it very clear that as long as the best players in the world are playing the PGA Tour, so will I."

Speaking earlier in June at the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament, the 2020 US Open winner said he was "loyal" to his family of sponsors, but accepting that "the golf world is probably going to change in some capacity".

And the change is coming quicker than many would have anticipated.

The PGA Tour refused requests for waivers from players wanting to compete at this week's inaugural LIV Golf event at Centurion Club, near London.

The dominant American-based tour, which is staging the Canadian Open this week, has also threatened to ban its members who play in a LIV Golf event.

But that has not stopped six-time major winner Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, winner of two majors, from turning up in England.

Mickelson, who has hinted that reports he has been given a $200m appearance fee are true, is ending a self-imposed four-month exile to play in the event, while Johnson - himself rumoured to be getting $150m - has quit his PGA Tour membership, along with fellow American Kevin Na and Spain's Sergio Garcia.

Ros Atkins on… Saudi Arabia’s $2 billion golf series

The first of eight events is taking place this week at Centurion Club, about 30 miles north of London. The 54-hole three-day tournament, which starts on Thursday, is the most lucrative in the world, with a $25m prize fund and $4m for the winner.

The second event is the first of four to be staged in the United States. All will have the same prize money as the Centurion event and take place from 30 June to 2 July, at Pumpkin Ridge, near Portland in Oregon.

There will be $25m events in Thailand and Saudi Arabia, before the opening season concludes with a lucrative $50m team championship at Trump Doral in Miami in October.

Greg Norman, who is fronting LIV Golf, told BBC Sport last month that he has secured an extra £1.6bn of funding from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund to turn the invitational series into a 14-event league by 2024.

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