Bryson DeChambeau says the PGA Tour has weakened its own Presidents Cup by not allowing LIV players to compete.
Trevor Immelman’s International team has been decimated by defections after top points-earner Cameron Smith as well as Joaquin Niemann, Louis Oosthuizen and Abraham Ancer all left for LIV Golf and were ruled ineligible to compete in the biennial team competition. As a result of those moves – two of which came after the automatic qualifiers had already been established – Immelman’s captain’s picks increased from four to six.
The American side wasn’t hit nearly as hard, though Dustin Johnson (who went 5-0 in last fall’s Ryder Cup) likely would have been under consideration for a wildcard pick. DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka were the other two U.S. Ryder Cuppers who bolted for LIV but have had disappointing 2022 campaigns.
“I personally think that the team events are only hurting themselves by not allowing us to play, not allowing us to qualify through some capacity, in some facet,” DeChambeau told reporters Friday at Rich Harvest Farms, which is hosting the fifth event of LIV’s inaugural season.
DeChambeau said that he will still watch the competition next week at Quail Hollow. His lone Presidents Cup appearance came in 2019, when he earned the fewest points (0.5) and played the fewest matches (two) of any American player. The U.S. side, led by playing captain Tiger Woods, staged a final-day rally to win for the 11th time in 13 chances.
“Absolutely – it’s golf entertainment,” DeChambeau said of whether he’d watch the event. “Look, I’m a golf fan, first and foremost. I’m going to watch golf wherever it’s played with some of the best players in the world, whoever it is. I think down the road that’ll change. I think that this will become something special, even more special than what it is now, and moving forward in the future I’ll still watch other tournaments that I’ve won and done well at before.”
DeChambeau, who remains a part of the antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, said that he wants to continue to play “numerous” events each year on Tour, in addition to the 14-tournament schedule that LIV will roll out next year when it begins its official team format.
“I would say, from a team aspect, it is sad that those governing bodies have not allowed us to be able to qualify. That’s all I can say to that,” he said. “I want to play in numerous events on the PGA Tour. It would be awesome. That’s what LIV Golf has tried to – they have allowed us to play on the PGA Tour. It’s the PGA Tour barring us from doing so.”