Everything you need to know about the LIV Golf Invitational Series
Both men qualified to play next week’s US Open, which DeChambeau won in 2020. On Tuesday, the US Golf Association announcement that golfers who had qualified for the tournament would be allowed to play, regardless of tour affiliation.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has threatened to permanently ban any player who takes the LIV Golf course, although a number of LIV golfers – including Johnson, Kevin Na, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace – anticipated any punishment by resigning. of the PGA Tour.
The LIV circuit would pay Johnson and Mickelson more than $100 million each just to join the league. Such financial motivation does not sit well with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who has maintained an unwavering devotion to the PGA Tour.
“Any decision you make in your life just for the money usually doesn’t end up a good one. I’ve had this before – a few times in my life,” McIlroy said Wednesday.
Requests for comment from LIV Golf and representatives of DeChambeau and Reed were not returned, and it is unclear whether DeChambeau and Reed have lost their PGA Tour memberships. Tuesday, DeChambeau engaged to play in the PGA Tour Travelers Championship, which takes place later this month during the week between the US Open and the second LIV Golf event.
At the Memorial last week, DeChambeau said leaving the PGA Tour was not worth the risk.
“I think it’s mostly – a lot of it is private,” said eight-time tour winner DeChambeau. “There aren’t really any conversations to be had about it other than every person here has their own opinion on it. Me, there is obviously a lot of conversation. For me, personally, I don’t think at this point in my career I can risk things like that.
DeChambeau and Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, have struggled with recent injuries and illnesses that have seen them drop in the world rankings. DeChambeau has suffered a torn labrum in his left hip for a few years and also injured his left hand last fall, injuries which were exacerbated in February when he slipped playing table tennis at a tournament in February in Saudi Arabia. He had surgery on his hand in April and has played just one tournament since, missing the cut at Memorial last week. (He’s missed the cut in four of his last five tournaments.)
Reed had a case of double pneumonia in August which at one point made him fear for his life. This calendar year he has missed four cuts and has just one top 10 finish, at last month’s Charles Schwab Challenge.
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DeChambeau, who climbed to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking after the 2021 PGA Championship, slipped to No. 28. Reed, who rose to No. 7 in the world last year, sits at No. 36. Their move to the LIV Tour means he will feature six of 50 best golfers in the world and 20 of the top 100.
DeChambeau and Reed are two of golf’s most polarizing players. Already considered one of the most cerebral players in the sport, DeChambeau strengthened considerably during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the longest driver on tour, but he also had feuds with his fellow pro. Brooks Koepka and with the rules officials on the course. Reed has been at the center of several rules controversies in his career.
Yet their fame and status as former great champions represent two more big victories for LIV Golf in its budding battle with the PGA Tour.
PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas on Wednesday said Golfers associated with LIV are free to do whatever they want, but they’ve also called the PGA Tour “the best place to play in the world.”
“I thought about it a lot, and it’s just that people have the right to choose as they wish. I don’t like [Johnson] now; I don’t think he’s a bad guy; I’m not going to treat it any differently. He has the right to choose what he wants,” Thomas said during a press conference before the Canadian Open. “Now I’m disappointed, and I wish he and others hadn’t, but it’s their decision. … Selfishly, I know the PGA Tour is the best place to play at the world. … I wish that didn’t take away from the great storylines and things that happen on a tour that’s been around for a very long time and is in one of the best places it’s ever been. I’m just disappointed that these guys aren’t in it.
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler played down the absences.
“I haven’t really noticed anyone missing this week – maybe outside of DJ,” he said. said Wednesday from Johnson, who also committed to playing the Canadian Open before announcing his move to LIV Golf.