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Bridgestone ends deal with DeChambeau after LIV Golf move

Person, Human, Sport John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Bryson DeChambeau plays his shot from the 15th tee during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament

Bryson DeChambeau and Bridgestone Golf have agreed to end their brand ambassador partnership following the former major champion’s decision to join the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, the company said on Tuesday.

DeChambeau, who is among the game’s more high-profile players and one of the longest hitters the sport has ever seen, joined LIV last month, resulting in his suspension from the PGA Tour.

“The PGA Tour is an extremely important part of professional golf, and Bridgestone has a sports marketing relationship with this highly visible series of tournaments,” Bridgestone Golf said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

“In considering that Bryson DeChambeau will no longer be participating in these events, Bridgestone and Bryson have agreed to end their brand ambassador partnership.”

The announcement comes two days before DeChambeau, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, tees off in the British Open at St Andrews where he will seek a second major triumph to go along with his 2020 U.S. Open victory.

DeChambeau joined Bridgestone, which has been a long-time tournament sponsor of the PGA Tour, ahead of his professional debut in April 2016 and one week after he finished as the low amateur at that year’s Masters.

DeChambeau had initially distanced himself from LIV Golf, saying only a week prior to the breakaway circuit announcing his arrival, that jumping ship at this stage of his career was too much of a risk.

But he ultimately became the latest big-name player to make the move and made his debut two weeks ago in Portland, Oregon, where he finished in 10th place in a 48-man field and 11 shots back of the winner.