Donald Trump and Bryson DeChambeau will help LIV Golf thrive against the PGA Tour


It was a brave fight, brief as it was. As US Open week approaches, LIV Golf lives on, thanks to Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Donald Trump and the cults they’ve cultivated.

“They need us,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said as Rory McIlroy won the RBC Open on Sunday.

No, they do not do it.


The USGA said it will welcome LIV players who qualify for the US Open, who have been suspended by the PGA Tour for joining the Saudi-backed rival league with bottomless pockets and bottomless morals. It is the first major tournament to announce that it will allow dropouts. The news couldn’t be worse for the PGA Tour.

The damned Saudis spent about $500 million on signing bonuses at their LIV pro golfing zoo, but they didn’t really need Phil Mickelson, a former player who turns 52 on Thursday. They certainly didn’t need Charl Schwartzel or any of the apartheid-era South Africans who finished in the top three at LIV’s inaugural event last week in London. They didn’t even need Dustin Johnson, the Keanu Reeves of a PGA Tour filled with insipid shells of manhood.

But the oppressive regime, desperate to whitewash its reputation with sport, made he needs a McIlroy, or a Justin Thomas, or a Jordan Spieth, or, at the very least, a Bryson DeChambeau or a Patrick Reed.

They got Bryson, for $100 million. They also have Patrick.

Now the flood begins.

The PGA Tour has suspended all LIV golfers who played in London and will suspend anyone playing in the next event, June 30-July 2, in Portland, Oregon. Matthew Wolff, the one-year-old snake killer, and three other PGA players will join the ranks of LIV out west. Play. Establish. Play.

LIV had $2 billion to spend, and it spent the first part on antiques, but LIV didn’t need the ’57 Chevys. She needed Teslas.

They got them, and they got the greatest of them all.

No golfer on earth is more “future” than the analytical geek DeChambeau. He’s 28, he’s a maniacal body manipulator, and he resonates perfectly with his generation, which isn’t usually interested in humility or morality, but is addicted to fame and monetization. DeChambeau lacks a moral compass, is mean and cruel, and lacks common sense; he said last year that he would not get a free, plentiful COVID vaccine so others could have it.

» READ MORE: Jack Del Rio, Commanders, PGA Tour dropouts face consequences, maybe forever

It’s LIV Golf, distilled.

None of this will affect DeChambeau’s popularity. He is shunned for proper golf, but to many he is the new John Daly: long off the tee, erratic on and off the course, and the hero of, if not the common man, then the Trumper fan.

Because, in case you haven’t noticed, professional golf and its supporters are disproportionately pro-Trump.

That’s not necessarily a blow to golf supporters, or Trump, for that matter.

But Trump’s dirty relationship with the Saudis allowed them to kidnap and murder journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 without repercussions while he refuted the CIA’s findings. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is being investigated by a House committee for using his position as an adviser to Trump to secure a $2 billion investment from the Saudi government after Trump lost his presidential bid. reelection in 2020.

It is no coincidence that two of LIV Golf’s eight events (25%) take place at Trump properties in Bedminster, New Jersey and Miami. Those properties missed PGA Tour events for the past six years because Trump’s name was on the letterhead.

Rest assured, Trump will be smiling and waving at his Saudi masters at the door.

His legions of loyalists will also come. They will bring some liberal friends, because they also like golf. They are likely to discuss the Jan. 6 insurrection, the current House committee hearings, and whether their host will end up behind bars, while paying $25 for a Trump-branded beer that is sure to be flavorless.

Those weeks will be rare W’s for Trump. LIV big, Donald.

It’s easy to see why the Schwartzels and Pat Perezes and even the Phils and Bubbas would leave the PGA Tour, but why would DeChambeau and Reed, young, talented, in their prime, go too?

To earn a lot of money. And win, they will.

When he’s back on his feet, DeChambeau will take on these fields, in this format, on these tracks, with $25 million in purses, $4 million in first prizes, $2.125 million in runner-up and team bonus money as well. He should earn around $3 million a week. Let’s say he plays, fully healthy, six events — easy to do, considering events are only 54 holes long, instead of 72. That’s $18 million. Last season, DeChambeau earned around $7.5 million in 22 events.

Consider: Schwartzel took home a total of $4.75 million (his team split $3 million for winning the team event). By comparison, Scottie Scheffler earned about $4.5 million in everybody of 2021, when he played 19 events. Schwartzel, 37, earned about $4.75 million in 72 events on the previous four seasons.

Assuming the competition remains Schwartzel-esque, assuming the likes of McIlroy, Thomas, Jon Rahm and Scheffler, now the No. 1 golfer in the world, remain on the PGA Tour, DeChambeau could earn $30 million next year, from 10 events. scheduled.

Spieth set the PGA Tour record in 2014-15, when he earned just over $12 million in 25 events. And Spieth usually played four days in a row, against the best in the world.

DeChambeau is battling injuries, and has missed his last three cuts, and is ranked No. 28 right now. But he was ranked in the top 17 for three and a half years and got as low as No. 4. He will play just three days, on courses. minors, against the likes of Itthipat Buranatanyarat, No. 599 in the world, who finished 47 of 48. in London, 23 over par.

DeChambeau should be in good shape for all four majors, none of which have said LIV-qualified players can’t play.

That the US Open allows LIV-ers to play is not a surprise. The PGA Grand Slam of Golf left Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles in 2015 due to Trump’s comments about illegal immigrants. The 2022 PGA Championship left Trump National Bedminster after the January 6 uprising. But the USGA never considered changing its 2016 US Women’s Open. Of course, former USGA boss Mike Davis is a member of the Trump Bedminster. Current USGA boss Mike Whan, a former LPGA commissioner, was part of a Trump sports committee in 2020.

None of the four majors is subject to PGA Tour suspensions. The DP World Tour, or European Tour, has yet to decide whether to suspend members.

So if LIV-ers can play majors, why shouldn’t more players defect from the Tour?

Mickelson’s self-imposed exile this spring after his comments acknowledging that he was using the Saudis and their murderous regime (his words) for his own monetary gain made him miss defending his PGA Championship. And he also won the British Open and the Masters. Reed won the 2018 Masters. DeChambeau won the 2020 US Open, the same year Johnson won the Masters to add to his 2016 US Open.

Entering 2022, LIV golfers have won three of the previous seven majors. Without major consequences, what is the real deterrent? Regular tour stops? Most golfers would be glad they didn’t have to spend seven nights during a soggy spring in Ohio because the Jack Nicklaus tournament won’t let them in. (Footnote: Jack Nicklaus loves Trump too.)

After McIlroy took home victory number 21 of the Tour on Sunday, he criticized LIV leader Greg Norman: “One more than Norman”. It was a smart move, but pointless, considering Norman has already pocketed $100 million to continue his exile from a PGA Tour that already looks down on him.

And yes, while McIlroy has resisted LIV’s pull, he once gave Trump a sports wash when he played with him in 2017, though he turned down subsequent offers. LIV critic Tiger Woods also Trumped up in 2017 and 2019.

Sport washing is nothing new. The Olympics were used by Nazi Germany, by Russia as the Soviet Union in 1980 and as the kingdom of Vladimir Putin in 2014, and by Beijing, China in 2008 and 2022. Qatar, on the bloody backs of battered migrant workers, will host men’s soccer. World Cup this fall. We criticize decision makers and policy makers, hold our noses and move on.

We understand the duality, or what you might even call hypocrisy, if you ignore the obvious shades of gray.

In March, the NBA got back into bed with China, where NBA owners stand to make billions of dollars and where the iPhone this was written on was assembled. McIlroy has been rejecting appearance fees from Saudi Arabia since 2019 on “morality” grounds, but his first major backer was the UAE-based Jumeriah Group, a consistent violator of human rights.

You drive a car that could have Saudi gasoline. I also. We will all watch football in November.

But you and I are not paid to ignore the atrocities, to lie about our motives, and to cleanse the sins of the Chinese, the Saudis, or the Qataris. On the golf courses of Trump, Phil, DJ and Bryson will do it.

The PGA Tour might not survive.