Bryson DeChambeau opens up on Tiger Woods, LIV: ‘I hope one day he’ll see the vision’
Bryson DeChambeau is implying that Tiger Woods no longer talks with him after DeChambeau’s move to LIV Golf.
And he says that Woods believes LIV players are “potentially hurting his record.”
DeChambeau’s comments — published Thursday in a story by Golfweek, which you can read in full here — come before the Saudi-backed series starts its third event of the year on Friday, and a week before the start of the Masters. In the interview, DeChambeau was asked if anyone had cut him off after his move last June to LIV, and he answered: “Yeah, definitely. I’m sure you can guess who.”
Golfweek then asked if he was referring to Woods, the 15-time major champion who has been a critic of LIV.
“Yeah, I’m not going to throw anyone under the bus,” DeChambeau told Golfweek. “He’s been a great friend. I texted him on his birthday. It is what it is.
“He has his viewpoints on it and thinks we’re potentially hurting his record. If anything, nobody is ever going to touch his record. That’s just it; that’s the bottom line. There’s a chance to grow the game even more and I hope one day he’ll see the vision that we all have out here.”
Notably, DeChambeau’s published comments came a day after Bubba Watson and Brooks Koepka, two other PGA Tour-turned-LIV golfers, claimed that any friction among the two league’s players heading into the Masters was being manufactured.
“I’m going to be honest, man,” Watson said. “It’s only awkward in the media. I’ve talked to people that are going to be there. I’m going to sign up with Jason Day and Cam Young in the Par-3. Some guys have already asked me to play some practice rounds.
“Media is the only one that is pushing it. I have nothing against anybody. If you change jobs, I’m not mad at you. If you start reporting for somebody else, hey, man, it’s a better decision for you and your family. Have at it.”
Said Koepka: “I think that’s one of the big things. Down in Jupiter, we see each other — I was just with Rory [McIlroy] and J.T. [Justin Thomas] yesterday, and I think Keegan [Bradley] was there. We see each other quite a bit. I mean, there’s a lot of conversations.
“I was talking with Rory for probably about 30 minutes just about the ball and all the other stuff that’s going on.
“No one is angry at anybody from what I’ve seen.”
At multiple interviews over the past year, Woods has decried LIV, and he’s spurred on changes on the PGA Tour as part of a response to the upstart league. His most pointed comments perhaps came last July ahead of the Open Championship, where he said: “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.”
“What these players are doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to practice?” Woods added. “What is the incentive to go out there and earn it in the dirt? You’re just getting paid a lot of money up front and playing a few events and playing 54 holes. They’re playing blaring music and have all these atmospheres that are different.”
DeChambeau’s comments to Golfweek were also not the first time he’s mentioned Woods.
Two weeks after the Open Championship, in an interview with Sports Illustrated (which you can read in full here) ahead of LIV’s event in Bedminster, New Jersey, DeChambeau said “this wouldn’t be existing if it weren’t for Tiger.” He also said then that he and Woods had not spoken.
“I have ultimate respect for what he has to say,’’ DeChambeau told Sports Illustrated. “For me personally, to be my own human being, I’m going to work even harder to prove the fact that I’m worth that price.
“We have been fairly close and unfortunately we have not spoken, one day we will again, and I am always open for a conversation with anybody. I have no problem with it, and I hope we can come see eye to eye on it.’’
About a month and a half later, at the LIV tournament in Sugar Grove, Illinois, DeChambeau again credited Woods. For clarity, here’s the complete exchange.
“You’ve obviously had a variety of different challenges in your golf career, deciding when to turn pro with what was going on at your school, deciding to get bigger and stronger,” a reporter started. “Where does the challenge of, if it is one, jumping to this tour, been in your career? Where does it rank among all the challenges you’ve faced?”
“Well, I think all the challenges that have happened in the course of my life, even from when I was in high school, junior high, elementary school, they’ve all been warming up to this moment, to make this big decision,” DeChambeau said. “This is the biggest decision besides choosing my agent that I’ve ever made in my entire life, and I couldn’t be more happy to be over here. I have no buyer’s remorse. I have ultimate respect for the PGA Tour and what they’ve done for my career, as I’ve said it from day one, and they’ve allowed me this opportunity.
“I have to look back and thank Tiger for this opportunity because he’s the one that’s ultimately created this.”