Bryson DeChambeau will be playing a Bridgestone golf ball at the Open Championship — but it won’t be under contract.
In a surprise move that sent shockwaves through the equipment industry on Tuesday, Bridgestone announced it was severing ties with the former U.S. Open winner after he made the decision to jump from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf last month.
“The PGA Tour is an extremely important part of professional golf, and Bridgestone has a sports marketing relationship with this highly visible series of tournaments,” Bridgestone said in a statement to GOLF.com. “In considering that Bryson DeChambeau will no longer be participating in these events, Bridgestone and Bryson have agreed to end their brand ambassador partnership.”
DeChambeau has been one of the faces of Bridgestone Golf since he turned pro in 2016; he signed a long-term extension with the company back in 2020 that included an even larger role in the development of future Bridgestone Tour B golf balls.
“I’ve seen a lot of other guys sign up just to be spokesmen for a brand and collect a check,” DeChambeau said. “I have a much deeper role in mind with Bridgestone. I want to be a bigger part of their R&D process and help develop golf ball technology for the future of the game while pushing the limits of golf ball designs to benefit the full spectrum of players.”
The loss of DeChambeau still leaves Bridgestone with a strong roster that includes Tiger Woods, Fred Couples, Jason Day, Lexi Thompson and Matt Kuchar.
DeChambeau is the first equipment casualty since players started defecting to LIV Golf earlier this year. It remains to be seen if the Bridgestone-DeChambeau announcement is an anomaly or a sign of bigger things to come for golfers who walked away from the PGA Tour for LIV’s guaranteed money. (Phil Mickelson’s deal with Callaway Golf remains on pause.)
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