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Now That They've Abandoned The PGA Tour, Reports Of How Insufferable Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed Were Are Running Rampant

This is a relatively long article from Golf Digest, so I'll just throw in the main chunks about each before diving into the blog.

On Dechambeau...

... the news that DeChambeau, alongside similarly polarizing figure Patrick Reed, would join the group of players cashing in with LIV was a gut punch to the PGA Tour. But there was, however, an accompanying emotion pulsing through PGA Tour circles on Wednesday: the type of relief that comes at the end of a turbulent and often toxic relationship. 

Interviews with a broad spectrum of sources, including PGA Tour players, employees, agents and caddies, produced various perspectives, but consistently portrayed DeChambeau and Reed as two elite talents whose play was often overshadowed by their difficult behavior. Representatives for DeChambeau and Reed did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. 

“It began to feel like an unwinnable situation,” a tour source said of DeChambeau. “It was clear that he did not feel like he had to play by anyone’s rules.”

DeChambeau’s defiant and often erratic behavior began shortly after he played his way onto the PGA Tour in 2016. At an AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am early in his career, DeChambeau unleashed a profanity-laced tirade on a volunteer who failed to spot his errant ball. The incident was reported up the chain of command and, per sources familiar with the tour’s operations, almost certainly resulted in discipline. The tour didn’t speak to the incident, as is their long-standing policy, but according to one tour player, a similar situation played out years later at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. 

In the summer of 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, tour officials and volunteers were instructed to be particularly conscious of where people could and could not go. After pounding range balls long after sundown, DeChambeau attempted to enter a building without his credential. When he was denied access, he grew agitated. Shortly thereafter, a tour official addressed the incident with an adamant DeChambeau, who was dumbfounded that the volunteer did not recognize him. This was the same week he objected to a cameraman following him for too long, after which he took a thinly veiled shot at the PGA Tour.

“I understand it’s his job to video me,” DeChambeau said, “but at the same point, I think we need to start protecting our players out here compared to showing a potential vulnerability and hurting someone’s image. I just don’t think that’s necessarily the right thing to do.” He wound up winning the tournament with an emphatic display of his new-found power.

As DeChambeau’s physical transformation and strong play continued to elevate his profile, his relationship with the PGA Tour steadily deteriorated. In his next start after the Rocket Mortgage, at the Memorial, DeChambeau told a rules official that his ruling was “garbage” and bluntly asked for a second opinion. His seminal six-shot victory in the U.S. Open that September was met with groans from Winged Foot members who, with the help of a hot microphone, caught his under-his-breath assessment of the putting surfaces (These greens f***ing suck), objected to the way he treated volunteers and cringed when he listed sponsor after sponsor during his winner interviews. Throughout these semi-frequent blowups, tour officials would try to placate the burgeoning star. With little success.

“He’s a smart guy, and he knows he’s a smart guy, but he’s not as smart as he thinks he is,” says a tour source. “He doesn’t want advice.”

On Reed...

Reed’s exit is similarly unsurprising given his history with the PGA Tour. The gripes by “Team Reed” with the tour were so frequent that his wife, Justine, had a direct line of communication with a high-ranking tour official. The two would speak often about what Justine perceived to be unfair treatment of her husband. The complaints, many of which were aired publicly by the usegolfFACTS Twitter account, which is widely believed to be associated with the Reed family, were constant. They didn’t like his tee times. They didn’t like his pairings. They wondered why he didn’t get asked for a pre-tournament press conference. Then they were upset that he was getting asked so often for interviews. And the complaints came despite the tour’s best efforts to protect Reed’s image, even after a number of dust-ups—including his rules violation at the 2019 Hero World Challenge and his caddie’s physical altercation with a fan during the following week’s Presidents Cup.

One tour official described Reed’s inner circle as the single most difficult group they’ve had to deal with on the PGA Tour. And that inner circle kept changing—while DeChambeau has had the same agent for his entire career, Reed has cycled through multiple managers.

“He’d hire one guy to bridge the gap with the tour,” says a source, “and then the guy will say ‘hey, the tour isn’t being so bad here,’ and then he’d fire the guy for not telling him what he wanted to hear.”

Look, I don't think anybody that follows golf to even the most casual degree is surprised by any of these reports. Those two guys have their reputations for a reason. This is just one of those moments where you come to realize just how divisive and real this entire LIV Golf thing is. Those in the know are really letting it fly here, and I'm sure there's more that will come out.

The PGA Tour doesn't have to hold water for these guys anymore. That must be a TREMENDOUS weight off of everyone's shoulders. They're probably down bad a bit about losing a guy like DJ, but when word came through that these two were gone they were probably popping BOTTLES at PGA Tour HQ. Don't let the door hit ya like you read about. 

Now they're free to pretty much let it fly. I'm sure few will actually put their name to any of these stories, but the smear campaign against Bryson and Reed is as spicy as it gets. And the players… probably a lot like having one of your boys finally break up with the psycho bitch everyone hates. Allll the hate is about to come spewing out.

Best of all, Netflix is DEEP into their filming of all this drama. That documentary series that will come out sometime next year is going to be appointment television. The messaging may be incredibly controlled but I do not care. Neither of these two are on the list of those to be featured (DJ is, along with fellow defectors Sergio, Poulter, and Na), but I cannot wait to see if some of the other guys lay the hammer on em. They've got little to lose. Fuck it, why not.

Give me all of the drama. All of it.