Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed Are The Next Big Names To Jump Ship To LIV Golf

Jamie Squire. Getty Images. - Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed will be announced imminently as the latest big-name players to sign up with the Saudi rebel circuit.

In news that will further stun the world of golf, the two controversial Americans have already agreed multi-million dollar deals to join the £200 million LIV Golf Series, Telegraph Sport understands.

The breakaway circuit, that begins here at the Centurion Club on Thursday, will unveil the captures before the end of this 54-hole tournament and it is also understood that Rickie Fowler is also close to being confirmed. Both DeChambeau and Reed are expected to compete at the second event in Portland from July 3.

With Dustin Johnson playing in this opening tournament together with Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter, the LIV roster is taking on an ominous look for the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour. Dechambeau’s participation will certainly grab headlines.

The 2020 US Open champion has emerged as one of the biggest draws in the game, while Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, is another who regularly commands headlines. DeChambeau has been linked with the Saudis since they signalled their intent to form the breakaway circuit. 

Nevertheless this will come as a shock week as last week, on his return from a wrist injury, DeChambeau, 28, spoke about the LIV and signified that, for now, he would be sticking with the PGA Tour. 

“Every person out here has their own opinion on it,” he said. “For me, I personally don't think that at this point in time I'm in a place in my career where I can risk things like that.

“I'm loyal to my family that I've created around me with sponsors and everything. And as of right now, the golf world is probably going to change in some capacity.

“I don't know what that is. Not my job to do so. I'm just going to keep playing professional golf and enjoy it wherever it takes me, play with the best players in the world. That's really all I've got, that's what I'll do for the rest of my life, because I want to be one of the best players in the world.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Poulter predicted DeChambeau and Reed would not be the last top players to show an interest in joining the circuit.

"I definitely see other top players watching on this week and wanting to be a part of it," he said. "There's a huge investment coming into the game of golf and sport in general of which, you know, definitely other players will be looking in with interest this week, and I think they will want to come and see what it's all about. 

"The team format has always been something which most people have always gravitated to, and had their best time on the golf course. It is a vast sum of money, but it's a great platform to be able to build the game of golf and give back at the same time."

I'd like to say I'm surprised by these two names but I couldn't be further from it. Both are more or less social outcasts on the PGA Tour and are… how do I say put this nicely… less than conventional. This whole LIV Golf thing is the furthest thing from conventional, save from the generic team logos. Hell, if there's anything to be surprised by, it's the fact that they weren't part of the original 48 playing in London this weekend. 

Bryson's agent has already confirmed the move, predictably under the guise of "innovation".

So back to a couple sentences ago. Why join in Portland and not this week in London? Well… I think a good handful of players were a bit concerned as to their status relating to next week's US Open, and the majors that followed. While the public backlash against the players that took the initial jump has been decidedly swift, the legal implications seem to be minimal at this point. The USGA, rightfully so as laid out by my guy Reags, has allowed any player who qualified for next week's tournament to play… and I would expect the R&A to follow with the Open Championship. Plus, it sounds like… at least for those with higher PGA Tour card status like Bryson and to a lesser degree Reed, the case for the PGA Tour to punish defectors and keep these guys from coming back is flimsier than we originally thought.


So a good handful of high level players have essentially let a few guys take the dive and take the initial brunt of the PR hit, and now they're jumping in. Which is a real problem for the PGA Tour. I know I said yesterday that this LIV Golf thing was doomed to fail, and I still feel there's truth to that. But it's going to shake things up A LOT with the PGA Tour before it's all said and done. More big names are likely to follow in the coming weeks and days.

These are certainly big names, but I still think they're a real big fish from really changing my mind about their chances of legitimacy. I'm talking about a Morikawa, a Spieth, or a JT (or obviously the Big Cat). I doubt any of those guys jump. Wouldn't shock me if Rahm does, but that's about the best that I think they could do for the time being. We'll see. But just another day in the first chapter of this saga…


 PS: Gonna be real interesting to see if @useGolfFACTS has the stones to say a peep when the Saudi's are in charge… popping the tweet noti's on for that one…