Bryson DeChambeau insists he harbours no regrets following his decision to join the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The 2020 U.S. Open winner became one of the biggest names to join the lucrative Saudi-backed tour in June, later describing his move as "a business decision".

Despite LIV Golf players becoming the targets of hostility when playing at majors and selected events on other tours in recent weeks, DeChambeau remains content with his choice.

"This is the biggest decision, besides choosing my agent, that I've ever made in my entire life," DeChambeau said, ahead of LIV Golf Chicago. 

"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 from day one. They've allowed me this opportunity." 

While the PGA Tour has reacted furiously to the founding of the new circuit, DeChambeau said in August he was "not worried" by their blanket ban on LIV Golf players, adding: "I think it will get figured out."

The 29-year-old reiterated that belief this week, saying: "I personally believe that over the course of time they will come to a resolution. There has to be, it's only in the best interests of golf down the road.

"What LIV Golf has provided is something new and unique, different. With that being said, there is going to some disruption and people aren't going to like it. 

"I respect every single person who thinks it isn't good for the game of golf, I understand it. But I hope they are open-minded enough to go, 'you know what? I'll give this a chance'. If you give it a chance, you might just see something pretty cool.

"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 [LIV Golf] 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."

The subject of LIV Golf players appearing at team events such as the Ryder Cup has been fiercely debated since the split, with Rory McIlroy adamant this week none of the circuit's players should be able to feature. 

But DeChambeau, who has helped the United States to two victories at the Ryder Cup (2018 and 2021) and one at the Presidents Cup (2019), believes a ban would only serve to harm the tournaments.

"I personally think that the team events are only hurting themselves by not allowing us to play," he added. "Not allowing us to qualify through some capacity, in some facet."

Matt Fitzpatrick is "not really too bothered" about the prospect of playing alongside LIV Golf rebels in Europe's Ryder Cup team.

Debate around the controversial Saudi-backed breakaway series has dominated this year and is only likely to ramp up further ahead of the Ryder Cup in 2023.

Rory McIlroy has been a fierce opponent of LIV Golf, and speaking on Wednesday, ahead of the Italian Open, he reiterated his stance on selection for the prestigious team event.

"If I have said it once, I've said it a hundred times: I don't think any of those guys should be on the Ryder Cup team," he said.

However, U.S. Open champion Fitzpatrick, McIlroy's European team-mate, does not agree.

McIlroy is set to play the Ryder Cup for the seventh time and already has four triumphs to his name. On the other hand, Fitzpatrick has only been on the losing team, in both 2016 and 2021. 

"I just want to win the Ryder Cup," Fitzpatrick said. "I want to be part of the team myself, but I want the 11 best guys we can get.

"I'm not really too bothered about where they are going to come from. I just want to make sure that we win, and I think that's what's most important.

"I know other guys might not necessarily agree with that, but I know the winning feeling is worth more than any sort of arguments you might have with other players.

"There's one that I had a conversation with last week – I told him I'd happily have him on the team. I'd have no issues."

Bernd Wiesberger, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter were all team-mates of McIlroy and Fitzpatrick in Europe's 2021 team and have each since played LIV Golf events.

Rory McIlroy says his relationships with several former Ryder Cup team-mates have strained by their decisions to join the LIV Golf series.

Five members of Europe's team for the 2021 tournament, at which they were well beaten by the United States at Whistling Straits, have joined the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed circuit.

Four of those five – Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Bernd Wiesberger – are part of the field for this week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

The presence of LIV golfers at the DP World Tour's flagship event has been criticised by some players, with former world number one Jon Rahm and defending BMW PGA champion Billy Horschel both hitting out at their participation. 

McIlroy has been a fierce defender of the PGA Tour amid the divide with LIV Golf, and admits he has grown distant with many of his counterparts on the breakaway circuit. 

"I wouldn't say I've got much of a relationship with them at the minute," McIlroy said of his former Ryder Cup team-mates.

"But, like, I haven't done anything different. They are the ones that have made that decision. I can sit here and keep my head held high and say I haven't done anything differently."

Having declared last month that it would be "hard to stomach" LIV players joining the field at Wentworth, McIlroy was more diplomatic this time around, adding: "They are here. They are playing the golf tournament. 

"My opinion is they shouldn't be here, but again that's just my opinion.

"But we are all going to tee it up on the first tee tomorrow and we are all going to go play 72 holes, which is a novelty for them at this point, and then we'll go from there.

"If you're just talking about Ryder Cup, that's not the future of the Ryder Cup team. They've played in probably a combined 25, 30 Ryder Cups, whatever it is.

"The Hojgaards [brothers Rasmus and Nicolai], Bobby Mac [Robert MacIntyre], whoever else is coming up, they are the future of the Ryder Cup team. That's what we should be thinking about and talking about."

Meanwhile, the DP World Tour's chief executive Keith Pelley has hit out at comments from Westwood and Garcia after the two men claimed the DP World Tour is nothing more than a feeder circuit for the PGA.

Garcia, Europe's record points scorer in the Ryder Cup, recently declared the DP World Tour to be just the fifth best circuit in world golf.

"It's unbelievable," Pelley said. "Let's look at the facts. If the metric determining the top tours in the world is just money, then the number one tour is the PGA Tour, always has been. You could argue that the LIV Invitational Series is number two.

"But The Asian Tour, $22.5m; Korn Ferry Tour; $20m; Japan, $28m; Australia, $5.8m; Sunshine Tour, $7.4m. Totalling all their prize funds together comes to just half of our tour. So even if the only metric is money, how possibly could we ever become number five?

"Is this week a tournament that is on a feeder tour? A tournament that has sold-out crowds, television coverage around the world in 150 countries, five of the top 15 players in the world? A tournament with 150 accredited media?

"Our first co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour in Scotland, where 14 of the top 15 players played, would that appear on a feeder tour? I could go on and on."

Pelley also defended his decision to remain aligned with the PGA Tour, adding: "LIV Golf and the PGA Tour are involved in a power struggle for our sport.

"It is corporate America versus a sovereign state and a conflict fought out with eye-watering sums of money. I often get the question, why can't we work with both the PGA Tour and the Saudis. We tried.

"But the Saudis remain determined to set up a new series outside of the current ecosystem. That decision has created the conflict we see today, and we chose to partner with the leading tour in the game.

"Some people might not agree with that decision. But it's a decision we feel is the right thing to do for all our members."

Paul McGinley says it "breaks my heart" to see a number of his close friends and former Ryder Cup team-mates join the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Golf has been divided over the past six months by the arrival of the Saudi-backed breakaway, which has seen a number of high-profile names defect from the PGA Tour.

Six more players were announced by LIV Golf this week, including reigning Open champion Cameron Smith, ahead of the series' latest big-money event in Boston.

The PGA Tour has banned those competing in LIV Golf from taking part in any of their competitions, though that is subject to another legal challenge.

The DP World Tour was unsuccessful in doing so, meanwhile, and 18 LIV players will compete in the PGA Championship at Wentworth next week.

That includes the likes of Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, each of whom McGinley has previously teamed up with for Ryder Cup duty.

McGinley finds the rift difficult to accept and claims that no player on the DP World Tour wants the LIV golfers involved at Wentworth.

"It breaks my heart because I have an emotional connection with every one of those players," he told The Sunday Times.

"I will see Poulter and I'll shake his hand at Wentworth, the same with Westwood and all of those guys that I shared team rooms with. That bond will never be broken.

"But we're definitely on different sides now. And it's really sad that it has come to this. Every one of those players knew the consequences when they signed with LIV. 

"They also knew there was the potential for the Ryder Cup to be collateral damage in all of this. They still think they can play in the Ryder Cup. 

"Who knows what's going to happen in six months' time? I think, at this stage, it's highly unlikely that any of them will be involved in the Ryder Cup again.

"If this is how it pans out, it won't be because of [DP World Tour chief executive] Keith Pelley or the board say so.

"It's because our members, the players who have remained loyal to our tour, don't want the LIV guys anywhere near the Ryder Cup. 

"The feeling is that you cannot play [for] both sides. Mo Salah doesn't get to play for Liverpool one week and Real Madrid the next. LIV is a rival tour."

Rory McIlroy will get some early Ryder Cup preparation when he makes his Italian Open debut next month.

Just under a year before Europe attempt to wrestle the Ryder Cup back off the United States, McIlroy will get a first look at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club venue where the biennial event will be staged.

McIlroy is riding on the crest of a wave after becoming the first player to win the FedExCup three times in dramatic fashion at East Lake.

The four-time major champion trailed Scottie Scheffler by six shots during his final round of the Tour Championship on Sunday, but a closing 66 sealed a hat-trick of FedExCup victories – and a whopping $18million in prize money.

DP World Tour Rankings leader McIlroy will be on his way to the outskirts of Rome eyeing another title in a tournament that starts on September 15.

The Northern Irishman said: "Not only is the city of Rome steeped in history but so too is their national open, so I am really looking forward to the Italian Open this year.

"It's the first time I have played in Italy, and I've heard the Italian fans are very passionate, so I'm excited to get out there and experience a new challenge."

McIlroy is third in the world rankings behind Scheffler and Cameron Smith.

Henrik Stenson could not resist taking a dig at his Ryder Cup predicament after winning his debut event on the breakaway golf tour at LIV Golf Bedminster, saying "I guess we can agree I played like a captain".

Stenson – who was sensationally stripped of his Ryder Cup captaincy after announcing he would leave the PGA Tour – was a wire-to-wire winner in the 54-hole event, shooting a seven-under 64 in his opening round, before following it with a pair of 69s.

He finished two strokes ahead of Matthew Wolff and Dustin Johnson at nine under, with Carlos Ortiz (eight under) and Patrick Reed (seven under) rounding out the top-five, and a further three-stroke buffer to sixth.

Speaking immediately after sinking his winning putt, Stenson said it was pleasing to perform so well after such a hectic couple of weeks, but only after taking a shot at those in charge of his Ryder Cup ban.

"Yeah, I guess we can agree I played like a captain," he said, before acknowledging Ian Poulter is the captain of his Majesticks GC team.

"It's been a busy 10 days, and I'm extremely proud that I managed to focus as well as I did. I was a little wobbly coming home here – I haven't finished the deal in a couple of years with any wins – so it's always a little added pressure when you're up in contention, but I did well."

For the win, Stenson pocketed a $4.375million cheque, as well as a $375,000 bonus for his team finishing in second-place, only trailing Dustin Johnson's 4 Aces GC, which included Pat Perez at five over.

Stenson is understood to have accepted a signing-on fee to join LIV Golf in the region of $50 million, according to ESPN's report.

Luke Donald has taken a dig at Henrik Stenson by declaring he will keep his word and "see it through" if he is named Europe's Ryder Cup captain.

Stenson was last week stripped of the honour of leading Europe against the United States in Rome next year after electing to join LIV Golf.

Donald is reportedly set to replace the Swede, and the Englishman is under the impression he has "a very good chance" of taking the role after holding talks.

"There’s nothing official to report," Donald told Golfweek. "I have been in talks with Guy [Kinnings, Ryder Cup director] at the European Tour. And that's all I know right now.

"I know I have a very good chance, Thomas Bjorn and a couple other guys are under consideration."

Donald, who never finished on a losing side in the four Ryder Cups he played in, says there is no chance he would take up a deal with LIV Golf after agreeing to captain Europe.

"If I got this captaincy, I would live up to my word and see it through," he said. "Let me put it that way. I wouldn't be doing a Henrik."

The 44-year-old Donald is disappointed Stenson defected to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series but would "love" to step in for Ryder Cup duty, with the 2016 Open champion out of the picture.

Donald said: "I've certainly had some of my best moments on the golf course in the Ryder Cups. What an amazing honour it is to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, and I would love to be a captain.

"That would be a huge honour as well. I was surprised that he would put his name forward if his plan was to go to LIV, which, you know, the rumours, and I hate to talk about rumours, but rumours are that he'd been in contact with the rival tours, whatever they were, and he was very interested.

"And I think everyone knew that, the European Tour knew that. They obviously took his word that he wasn't going to do it. We all have to sign a clause or contract saying that we won't have anything to do with (LIV).

"I'm disappointed I guess that he would put his name forward and then go to LIV. I understand certain guys going to LIV, in certain situations in their careers and stuff, that makes sense. But obviously something big to give up."

Donald revealed he has been offered a chance to be part of LIV Golf, but only for a television role.

He said: "Turned that down pretty quickly. A little bit of a slight on my game. I know I haven't played that great, but thanks but no thanks."

Henrik Stenson says he is "obviously disappointed" to no longer be European Ryder Cup captain but has to "move on" as he prepares to make his LIV Golf debut.

The Swede was last week stripped of the honour of leading Europe in Rome next year after signing a lucrative deal to join the Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway LIV Golf series.

Stenson had hoped he would be able to continue as captain despite his defection, but says he is looking to the future ahead of his first LIV Golf appearance in Bedminster on Friday.

He told reporters on Thursday: "I don't feel like I've given it up. I made every arrangement possible here to be able to fulfil my captain's duties, and I've had great help here from LIV to be able to do that.

"And still, the decision was made that I was to be removed. I'm obviously disappointed over the situation. But it is what it is, and yeah, we move on from there now."

Luke Donald is reportedly set to be named as Europe's new captain, but Stenson says he is not aware of who is successor will be.

"That's news to me," Stenson said when asked about the prospect of Donald getting the job.

"Obviously, I'm not in the loop on these things at this point. I don't feel like I should comment on that until that's official news, if that were to be the case."

Sergio Garcia has revealed he will "hold off" on quitting the DP World Tour, claiming he remains hopeful he can feature at the Ryder Cup despite signing up to feature in the LIV Golf series.

Garcia is one of several big names to join Greg Norman's controversial breakaway tour in recent months, and declared earlier in July he was "quite clear" on his intention to quit the European circuit. 

At this month's Open, the 2017 Masters champion also said he had all but given up on another Ryder Cup appearance after claiming he was "not wanted" on the European tour. 

Last week, Europe's 2023 Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson was stripped of the role after signing up to the LIV circuit, while both the PGA and DP World Tours have looked to sanction players joining the series.

But Garcia has gone back on his earlier pledge, and says he will wait for clarification on his chances of Ryder Cup participation before making any decision on his future.

"When I finished the Open Championship [last] Sunday, I said that I was most likely going to resign my membership from the [DP World] Tour," Garcia told ESPN. "That obviously meant not being eligible for the Ryder Cup because you have to be a member.

"[But] I had a couple of good conversations with guys on the [DP World] Tour, I'm going to hold off on that.

"I want to at least see what's happening when Ryder Cup qualification starts. See what kind of rules and eligibilities they have in there. If I agree with what they [are], I'll definitely keep playing whatever I can on the tour and try to qualify for that Ryder Cup team.

"And if not, then we'll move on. But it is definitely something that is in my mind.

"I told Keith Pelley [chief executive of the DP World Tour]: 'I want to keep being a member of the DP World Tour. I want to play my minimum, still support the tour, still have my eligibilities to make Ryder Cup teams.

"He said: 'That's great, but we've got to do what's best for us'. We'll see what that is."

However, Garcia did express sympathy for Stenson, describing the Swede's Ryder Cup ousting as "sad".

"Now it's gotten a little bit sadder with fines and bans," Garcia added. "What they did to Henrik. It's a little bit sad."

Garcia finished 24th in LIV Golf's first event in London at the start of June before posting a 26th-placed finish in Portland in early July. 

Cameron Smith may be swayed by the lucrative financial offer from the LIV Golf International Series, but must consider whether he will enjoy competing on the breakaway tour.

That is the message from former Ryder Cup captain Mark James, who acknowledged the financial benefits of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf but was unsure of the merits of a competition still in its infancy.

Smith secured his first major title at the historic 150th Open Championship last weekend, triumphing ahead of Cameron Young and Rory McIlroy on the picturesque Old Course at St Andrews.

While lauded for the blemish-free final round that ensured Open glory, speculation grew that Smith may become the next high-profile defector to LIV Golf, the tournament headed by Greg Norman.

Smith refused to comment on the matter as he celebrated at St Andrews, remaining non-committal on his future as he expressed his disappointment with the line of questioning following his Open victory.

Though James, a 32-time professional winner, appreciated the lucrative offers LIV Golf are making to secure the PGA Tour's prized assets, he warned Smith to think carefully about his future.

"I would imagine right now they're weighing up his contracts, weighing up what you'll get for playing the LIV Golf Tour and what you'll get for playing around the world and having all these contracts," James told Stats Perform.

"And I mean, yeah, they might pay him. They would have to pay him I would think 100 million to play LIV Golf Tour compared to winning the Open and having all those contracts, maybe more.

"I don't know, I'm a bit out of touch with the big money game these days. But that means you don't have to work the rest of your life, even at his age 100 million will go a long way.

"But he's going to be playing, is he going to be playing with his mind on the golf? Is he going to really enjoy it? I don't know.

"I think there's a lot of question marks over this tour. And it will be interesting to see what the outcome is."

Henrik Stenson relinquished his Ryder Cup captaincy after becoming the next big-name signing for LIV Golf, announced on Wednesday alongside Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III.

The breakaway league already has the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, with every defector banned from playing on the PGA Tour as retaliation to their move away.

And James, who had a long career on the European Tour and has played on the US-based Champions Tour in senior golf, does not envisage LIV Golf succeeding, likening the tournaments to "exhibition events". 

"They've gone in extremely heavy-handedly LIV Golf," he added. "But then I suppose if they're trying to take players away from the two major tours, they have to because the two majors are so protective of their product.

"But I agree with the two main tours, I think they have to be and I think the two main tours are brilliant for golf, because they have a pyramid system on both tours where anyone who's any good will make it to the top. It is that simple.

"Whereas, if LIV Golf were in charge, then that would not be the case. We'll see if they're still talking at the end of the year. Maybe something can be thrashed out and both tours can end a little sooner and have some big jamboree at the end of the year for six, eight weeks for anyone who wants to play.

"Certain events might be better suited but LIV Golf seems to want to take over the whole thing. And I think those tournaments are not good for golf right now. They're basically exhibition events.

"People are getting paid crazy amounts of money and there's a lot of animosity between current tour players and the LIV Golf players. So it's not a great situation. And I don't think LIV Golf have handled it well. 

"I'm not sure Norman is a particularly good spokesman because they've taken him out in the press to a large extent, because he wasn't really voicing what Saudi wants someone to say.

"But, equally, I think that the pros from the tours who signed up with LIV Golf have not exactly been eloquent in defence of LIV Golf. So the whole thing, I think, is a little shambolic.

"But as I say, if you want to take golf by the scruff of the neck and make an impression on the main tour players, then maybe this is the only way to try and do it."

Henrik Stenson cannot feel slighted by losing the Ryder Cup captaincy over his decision to join LIV Golf, according to Europe's 1999 skipper Mark James.

James, who was captain when Europe surrendered a 10-6 lead to suffer defeat at Brookline, said Stenson's move represented a major coup for LIV, but insisted most of the breakaway tour's players were "past their peak".

Stenson became the latest big name to sign up for the controversial Saudi-backed tour on Wednesday, a decision that saw him stripped of Europe's captaincy for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome.

The 2016 Open champion wrote on twitter that he disagreed with the decision to remove him from that role, but James feels here was no other alternative.

"I don't think it was so much Ryder Cup Europe making a decision. Henrik was unable to fulfil the obligations of his Ryder Cup captain's contract," James told Stats Perform. 

"If you can't fulfil the obligations, then the agreement is null and void. 

"It's virtually a mutual decision. He can say, 'well, I didn't agree with the captaincy being pulled'. If he can't fulfil his contract, I'm not too sure what he expects. 

"I don't know if Henrik needs the money. It's entirely possible. You hear rumours of a lot of tour players losing vast amounts of money with investments, I'd have no idea if he was one of those. 

"But he'll be getting an awful lot of money for being Ryder Cup captain and stuff associated with that. So for him to jump to the LIV Tour means they're offering him a very, very nice wheelbarrow load of cash."

The LIV series already counted experienced pros such as Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter among its ranks, and James believes the circuit has found it far easier to persuade older players to sign up.

James did, however, note the recruitment of a player set to be Ryder Cup captain represented a significant coup for the Greg Norman-led tour.

"Their strategy is to get people who will come and if you get people in their 40s, they are way more likely to come than people in their 20s," James continued.

"They're building up names on their tour and having a tour full of good, big names, even if they're slightly past their peak, which you could argue that Westwood, Poulter, Stenson and [Paul] Casey and others are, is giving them a star-studded field and it's an inducement to other players to then jump on board. 

"Certainly, [for] a Ryder Cup captain to sign up is a coup. Henrik knows what he's doing. He's not daft. And he's a really lovely guy. I like him a lot. 

"It's a great shame because he would have been a brilliant captain. And that ship now has sailed and it's a pity. It would have been a real jewel in a glittering career."

Attention will now turn to Ryder Cup Europe's efforts to replace Stenson, which 2021 skipper Padraig Harrington said on Wednesday will be "no issue".

James agreed with that assessment as he downplayed the importance of the captaincy, adding: "They [LIV] are taking a lot of possible captains away. So we'll find other people to be captain, captain is not all-important. 

"The captain's position is drummed up to be incredibly important. But I think it's overrated, I always have done. 

"Every captain we have, over the last, certainly 15 odd years, everyone thinks they're just going a little extra mile to do something else and everything's a little better. 

"When you get out there on the turf and start playing against Americans, there's only one thing filling your mind, how much you want to beat the Americans, because this is a massive event and it's a huge thrill to play in it and be involved in it."

Padraig Harrington did not mince his words when discussing Henrik Stenson's decision to forfeit his Ryder Cup captaincy by joining LIV Golf, insisting he has "no empathy" for the Swede. 

Stenson is the latest big name to join the controversial circuit, with LIV Golf announcing the 46-year-old former major champion as one of three new recruits on Wednesday along with Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III.

Just four months ago Stenson was awarded Europe's Ryder Cup captaincy ahead of the 2023 edition beginning in Italy next September, taking over the role from Harrington.

But Stenson was removed from the position in anticipation of his choice to join LIV on Wednesday.

When asked how he felt about the Swede's move, Harrington argued Stenson should have honoured his Ryder Cup commitment, while saying he understands why the average professional golfer might make the jump.

"I certainly empathise with anybody that makes the decisions that they have made in terms of going to play a new tour; the financial incentives are quite impressive," he said.

"I do think it's different in Henrik's case, yes. He signed a contract not to do that and was specifically asked not to do that. I have no empathy there. 

"No, he took the Ryder Cup job when LIV was in doubt, and now that LIV is pretty much mainstream normalised, he's jumped ship."

Despite his disappointment, Harrington said Stenson's choice will have no real effect on Europe's Ryder Cup bid, with plenty of time remaining to select a new captain.

"It is 15 months, plenty of time," he said. "No issue as regards the actual team and, like, there's been nothing set in place about the selection processes or qualification processes. 

"Really doesn't affect the Ryder Cup in any shape or form. I'm sure we'll have a new captain installed pretty soon."

 

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