Bryson DeChambeau has joined the ranks of golfers to step back publicly by joining the LIV Golf Invitational.

Just last week, the former US Open champion told the world he was ‘loyal’ to the PGA and would not have his head turned by the rival tour backed by the Saudi Arabia, mega-rich but morally questionable.

DeChambeau also said in February that “”as long as the best players in the world play on the PGA Tour, so do I”, but he became the latest name to join the controversial event.

Dustin Johnson also said he was ‘fully committed’ to the PGA Tour on the same day, but later resigned his membership and is taking part in the £20million LIV Golf opening event at the Centurion clubs this week.

Minutes after the first blows were struck on Thursday, the PGA Tour suspended all 17 on-court players who were participating despite being denied for required releases.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan added: “The same fate applies to any other players who participate in future Saudi Golf League events in violation of our regulations.”

After missing the Masters cut, DeChambeau underwent surgery on his hand and returned to action with another missed cut at last week’s Memorial Tournament, where he was asked if the injury had affected his grip. decision regarding the LIV golf league.

“For me, personally, I don’t think at this point in my career I can risk things like that,” the American said. “I’m loyal to my family that I’ve created around me with sponsors and everything.”

One of DeChambeau’s sponsors, Rocket Mortgage, immediately ended its relationship with the 28-year-old American when his impending move to LIV Golf was reported.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, who is expected to sign more players ahead of the second event in Portland, Oregon, June 30-July 2, said, “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 determined to push the boundaries in the pursuit of excellence.”

Branden Grace of South Africa welcomed DeChambeau’s addition and believes the PGA Tour may be forced to switch positions if more players sign up.

“You might think so,” Grace said. “But I really don’t care what they do. I resigned my membership so that’s the decision I made. It was a great opportunity that I felt I couldn’t pass up. “

The DP World Tour has yet to comment on how it will deal with the rebel players, with two-time major winner Martin Kaymer expecting them to wait out the current mixed event in Sweden on Sunday.

Kaymer and Sergio Garcia remain on the entry list for the BMW International Open in a fortnight and Kaymer said he hadn’t heard anything suggesting he wouldn’t be allowed to play.

“I haven’t heard anything. I plan to play in Munich,” he said.

On the course, former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel remains in pole position to win the US$4 million top prize on Saturday after adding a 66 to his opening 65 to hit nine under par, three shots ahead of Hennie Du Plessis.

The South African pair are part of Stinger Golf Club in the four-man team event, meaning they hold a seven-stroke lead and are on course to split another $3 million.

Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson, playing in his first event since February, struggled to a second-round 75 to lose 13 strokes from the pace.

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