A once-simmering bromance is on pause.
Speaking with reporters at the LIV Golf event at Trump Bedminster in New Jersey over the weekend, Bryson DeChambeau expressed considerable respect for Tiger Woods, who has been critical of the upstart golf tour backed by the Saudis. However, he noted that their closeness has dissipated and the two have not communicated since DeChambeau left the PGA Tour for LIV, on a deal he claims was worth more than $125 million.
“I have ultimate respect for what he has to say. For me personally, to be my own human being, I’m going to work even harder to prove the fact that I’m worth the price,” DeChambeau said, according to Sports Illustrated.
“We have been fairly close and unfortunately we have not spoken, one day we will again, and I am always open for a conversation with anybody.
“I have no problem with it and I hope we can come see eye to eye on it.”
DeChambeau continued on Woods: “It’s his legacy. I totally understand it. It’s just a little bit of muddy waters right now.”
Last month, at The Open championship, Woods unloaded on LIV figurehead Greg Norman, and the promotion itself.
“I believe it’s the right thing,’’ Woods said of Norman getting blackballed from the major. “Greg has done some things that I don’t think is in the best interest of our game, and we’re coming back to probably the most historic and traditional place in our sport.
“I know Greg tried to do this back in the early ’90s. It didn’t work then, and he’s trying to make it work now. I still don’t see how that’s in the best interests of the game. I know what the PGA Tour stands for and what we have done and what the Tour has given us — the ability to chase after our careers and to earn what we get and the trophies we have been able to play for and the history that has been a part of this game.’’
Woods said that he believed players who joined LIV “turned their back” on the PGA Tour, which got them to where they were.
“The players who have chosen to go to LIV and to play there, I disagree with it,’’ Woods said. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position. Some players have never got a chance to even experience it — they’ve gone right from the amateur ranks right into that organization and never really got a chance to play out here and what it feels like to play a Tour schedule or to play in some big events.
“And, who knows what’s going to happen in the near future with world-ranking points, the criteria for entering major championships? The governing bodies are going to have to figure that out. Some of these players may not ever get a chance to play in major championships. That is a possibility that some players will never, ever get a chance to play in a major championship, never get a chance to experience this right here, walk down the fairways at Augusta National. That, to me, I just don’t understand it.’’