The exodus of leading golfers to the controversial Saudi breakaway tour continued on Friday with confirmation that Bryson DeChambeau has cashed in with the LIV Invitational Series.

The 2020 US Open champion will join the other rebels for the second stage of the series in Portland next month, despite the explosive sanctions issued by the PGA Tour on Thursday in which they stated current and future LIV players would be banned indefinitely.

DeChambeau’s switch came a week after he rejected a nine-figure offer to sign up with LIV, saying at the time: ‘I personally don’t think that at this point I’m in a place in my career where I can risk things like [LIV Golf]. I’m loyal to my family that I’ve created around me with sponsors and everything.’

Ex-US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau will be competing in the Saudi-backed LIV series

Ex-US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau will be competing in the Saudi-backed LIV series

Ex-US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau will be competing in the Saudi-backed LIV series

DeChambeau's decision comes shortly after suggesting he would not take part in the series

DeChambeau's decision comes shortly after suggesting he would not take part in the series

DeChambeau’s decision comes shortly after suggesting he would not take part in the series

The world No 28’s u-turn, while expected, will cause further consternation at the PGA Tour, who had waited until 30 minutes after the first tee shots at the inaugural LIV event at Centurion Club, St Albans, to announce they were banning 17 players who were in the field – they included Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter. That such a high-profile figure as DeChambeau, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, has also crossed over will only escalate the civil war that has rocked golf.

LIV CEO Greg Norman, who has not spoken directly to mainstream media since the tournament started, said in a statement: ‘Bryson DeChambeau is an exciting addition to LIV Golf’s supercharged style of play. 

‘He is passionate about the sport, innovative in his approach and committed to pushing the boundaries in pursuit of excellence.

DeChambeau has had a sponsorship deal pulled due to his ties with the Saudi-backed series

DeChambeau has had a sponsorship deal pulled due to his ties with the Saudi-backed series

DeChambeau has had a sponsorship deal pulled due to his ties with the Saudi-backed series

Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell have also seen sponsorship deals with the Royal Bank of Canada terminated while UPS have also dropped their own agreement with Lee Westwood

Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell have also seen sponsorship deals with the Royal Bank of Canada terminated while UPS have also dropped their own agreement with Lee Westwood

Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell have also seen sponsorship deals with the Royal Bank of Canada terminated while UPS have also dropped their own agreement with Lee Westwood

‘He’s not afraid to think outside the box and supports our mission of doing things differently to grow our game. The power and energy he brings to the course will deliver added electricity to our competition in Portland and beyond.’

While the series has attracted huge criticism for the source of its wealth and its impact on the golf landscape – both from administrators and players such as Rory McIlroy – further marquee signings are believed to be imminent, with Patrick Reed and Ricky Fowler expected to join.

The fledgling circuit was visited by three Extinction Rebellion protestors during Friday’s second round, with one sign reading: ‘XR against Blood Golf.’ They were moved on by police.

ENTRANTS FOR FIRST LIV GOLF INVITATIONAL SERIES EVENT 

Dustin Johnson (USA)

Phil Mickleson (USA)

Kevin Na (USA) 

Talor Gooch (USA)

Sihwan Kim (USA)

Chase Koepka (USA)

Andy Ogletree (USA)

Turk Pettit (USA)

James Piot (USA)

Hudson Swafford (USA)

Peter Uihlein (USA)

Sergio Garcia (ESP)

Pablo Larrazabal (ESP)

Adrian Otaegui (ESP)

David Puig (ESP)

Martin Kaymer (GER)

Graeme McDowell (NIR)

Ian Poulter (ENG)

Lee Westwood (ENG)

Richard Bland (ENG)

Laurie Canter (ENG)

Oliver Fisher (ENG)

Sam Horsfield (ENG)

Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)

Oliver Bekker (RSA)

Hennie Du Plessis (RSA)

Branden Grace (RSA)

Justin Harding (RSA)

Shaun Norris (RSA)

JC Ritchie (RSA)

Charl Scwartzel (RSA)

Ian Snyman (RSA)

Matt Jones (AUS)

Jediah Morgan (AUS)

Wade Ormsby (AUS)

Travis Smyth (AUS)

Blake Windred (AUS)

Kevin Yuan (AUS) 

Hideto Tanihara (JPN)

Ryosuke Kinoshita (JPN) 

Jinichiro Kozuma (JPN)

Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 

Ratchanon Chantananuwat (THA)

Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA)

Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 

Viraj Madappa (IND) 

Scott Vincent (ZIM) 

Bernd Wiesberger (AUT)

 

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