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DeChambeau may skip Abu Dhabi over safety concerns

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Escalating tensions in the Middle East have at least one American player re-thinking his travel plans for the upcoming European Tour stint in the area.

Bryson DeChambeau is one of three high-profile Americans currently committed to next week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he's set to defend his title the following week at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. But animosity in the area is increasing by the day following a Jan. 3 U.S. air strike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, with Iran retaliating Tuesday by targeting a pair of bases in Iraq that housed U.S. forces.

Shortly before news of Iran's retaliation surfaced, DeChambeau was on a Twitch stream playing Fortnite when he shed light on his updated status.

"I seriously may not be going to Abu Dhabi," DeChambeau said. "All this talk, no American is able to go over to that area. Insane, brother. Protecting the country, though, I love it. Gotta love it."

DeChambeau later added, "When will I know for sure about Abu Dhabi? Well, looks like (Tuesday) I'll find out."

When contacted by Golf Channel following the death of Soleimani, DeChambeau's agent, Brett Falkoff, noted that his client was still planning to head overseas.

"As of right now, Bryson is still committed, but we are monitoring the situation in the Middle East closely," Falkoff said on Jan. 3.

DeChambeau is one of the headliners for next week's field, which also includes world No. 1 Brooks Koepka and Presidents Cup participant Patrick Cantlay. Other Americans currently committed to at least one of the three Middle East events, which will conclude with the Jan. 30-Feb. 2 Saudi International, include Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau and Patrick Reed.