Bedminster, NJ – When Tiger Woods spoke out in favor of the PGA Tour – and strongly against the concept of LIV Golf – two weeks ago in St. Andrews, Bryson DeChambeau remarked.
He had no problem with that.
DeChambeau, who befriended Woods four years ago and played with him several training rounds, has not spoken to the main winner 15 times since his move to LIV Golf. But he is credited with making something like LIV Golf possible.
“I have a lot of appreciation for Tiger; look, that wouldn’t exist without Tiger,” DeChambeau said Thursday after playing with former President Donald Trump and his son Eric and Dustin Johnson at Trump Hall in Bedminster.
“So I have the utmost respect for what he did in golf, and what he did on the PGA Tour that gave us this opportunity.”
Opportunity is only guaranteed contracts to sign and mega wallets. This week’s event, third in the LIV Golf Invitational Series schedule, is offering $25 million, with $20 million for 48 players individually plus another $5 million for the team portion. The individual winner receives $4 million.
Woods criticized the project when speaking ahead of the British Open, saying: “What are these guys doing for guaranteed money, what’s the incentive to practice? What’s the incentive to go out and make it in the dirt? You just get so much money up front and you play some events and you play 54 holes? They play loud music and they have all these different vibes.
“I don’t see how positive this move is for a lot of these players in the long run.”
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Over the years, it was rare for Woods to take such a hard line on any issue. DeChambeau said he understood.
“I have absolute respect for what he’s going to say,” DeChambeau said. “For me personally, and to be human, I will work even harder to prove the fact that I deserve this price.
“We were pretty close and unfortunately didn’t talk, one day we will do it again, and I’m always open to having a conversation with anyone. I don’t have a problem with that and I hope we can see her face to face.”
DeChambeau said he was not surprised by Woods’ comments because “it’s his legacy. I totally understand it. It’s what allowed this to happen in a really unique and wonderful way, and I think in the end it’s all going to work for everyone. It’s just a little muddy water now.”
It was a struggle in 2022 for DeChambeau, who struggled with a thigh injury and a hand problem that required surgery. He had four missing cuts and a pullout during one stint and his best result since the Sentry Championships was tied for 56 at the US Open.
DeChambeau joined LIV Golf in time for the second event in Portland, where he finished 10th. He then tied for eighth at the World Open and said he’s close to 100 percent healthy.
In his first hole in the pro, Trump played from the back with the pros and hit his approach inside anyone in the group. After learning he could play in an amateur front group, Trump then stepped in.
“He’s actually a good golfer,” Deschamps said. “It was an honour. Anytime you can play with a boss, ex or seated, it’s just an honor no matter who they are. I feel very fortunate to be in a relationship with him and he has always been so generous with me.
“(His game) is so cool. He’s a huge human and so he has that speed. I hope I can get him into a little quick practice. He hits the ball fast and he’s running.”
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