LIV Golf has claimed two more big names from the PGA Tour.
Patrick Reed, 2018 Masters champion, and Bryson DeChambeau, 2020 U.S. Open champion, will play on the LIV circuit, according to a new report in the Daily Telegraph. The report also indicated that Rickie Fowler is close to signing with LIV, as well. Sports Illustrated confirmed that report while adding that Reed and DeChambeau will join LIV at its first U.S. stop in early July. LIV Golf has not yet responded to a request for comment.
The defections from the PGA Tour mark a significant step forward for LIV, and a small but notable setback for the PGA Tour. DeChambeau, Reed and Fowler are three of the best-known players on Tour. DeChambeau in particular is a fan favorite, a must-watch player whose mammoth tee shots delight galleries. While Reed has drawn heavy criticism for his style of play and his prickliness around his fellow pros, he’s also notched some key Ryder Cup wins that have bought him goodwill with many U.S. fans.
DeChambeau and Reed will join Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson as notable names on the LIV Golf circuit.
Earlier this year, DeChambeau denied reports that he would be jumping to LIV. And as recently as last week, he indicated his loyalty was to the PGA Tour. “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,” he said of jumping to LIV. “I’m loyal to my family that I’ve created around me with sponsors and everything.”
LIV Golf begins play this weekend at the Centurion Golf Club outside London, and seven more dates will follow later in the year. The Saudi Arabia-backed tour is offering massive paydays to players who make the leap to compete in the 48-player, no-cut, three-day fields.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at [email protected]
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