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Reports: Greg Norman's Saudi golf league lands two more Major winners

Bryson DeChambeau (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
8th June, 2022
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Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed are the latest major winners to join the LIV Golf Invitational series, according to reports sweeping the Centurion course on the eve of the first tournament in England.

Two more of the game’s biggest names defecting to the breakaway tour represents another coup for Australian golf legend Greg Norman as his Saudi-backed series continues to gather huge momentum in its launch week.

DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion, and Reed, the 2018 Masters winner, are set to compete in LIV Golf’s first US event at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon, at the end of the month.

No-one from LIV Golf would comment on the multiple reports linking the pair to the lucrative tour which is offering $255 million of prize money in its first year.

But DeChambeau’s agent, Brett Falkoff, told ESPN on Wednesday: “Bryson has always been an innovator.

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“Having the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something unique has always been intriguing to him. Professional golf as we know it is changing and it’s happening quickly.”

DeChambeau and Reed are two of the most controversial, polarising but high-profile figures in the game and are hugely significant signings for the tour which is being backed by the unprecedentedly lavish financing of the Saudis’ Public Investment Fund.

With the duo coming on board, LIV Golf will have nine former major champions who have jumped from the PGA Tour, despite warnings from commissioner Jay Monahan that they face punishment, including fines, suspensions and/or bans.

They are led by six-time major champion Phil Mickelson, two-time winners Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer, plus Sergio Garcia (2017 Masters), Charl Schwartzel (2011 Masters), Graeme McDowell (2010 US Open) and Louis Oosthuizen (2010 British Open).

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A handful of players, including Johnson, Garcia, Schwartzel and Kevin Na, have resigned from the tour, although 51-year-old Mickelson said on Wednesday he planned to hold on to his lifetime membership because he had earned it with years of hard work.

The 28-year-old DeChambeau had said only last week that he planned to keep playing on the PGA Tour, saying:

“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. 

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“I’m just going to keep playing professional golf and enjoy it wherever it takes me, play with the best players in the world.”

DeChambeau has played sparsely this season because of an injury to his left hand that required surgery in April, while Reed has struggled since being hospitalised with double pneumonia in August.

© AAP

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