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Men’s golf US Open winner urges PGA Tour and LIV Golf to ‘figure it out’

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU hopes golf’s civil war will swiftly come to an end in the wake of his dramatic US Open victory over a devastated Rory McIlroy at Pinehurst.

DeChambeau saved par from a bunker on the 72nd hole to inflict more misery on McIlroy, who had led by two shots with five holes to play in pursuit of a fifth major title and first since 2014, but agonisingly missed short par putts on the 16th and 18th.

DeChambeau concedes he is “part of the reason” for the schism in men’s professional golf after joining LIV Golf two years ago and being one of the players to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

The highly unorthodox American has often been a polarising figure, attracting fans with his prodigious hitting but putting off others by claiming that Augusta National was therefore a “par 67” for him and trying to convince a referee to award him a free drop from an anthill because they were “dangerous animals.”

His slow pace of play also sparked a petty feud with Brooks Koepka, while he was labelled a petulant eight-year-old by his equipment manufacturer after complaining his driver “sucks” during the 2021 Open.

The former US Amateur champion was also branded “classless” by Butch Harmon after appearing to complain about not being conceded a putt during that year’s Ryder Cup, a contest for which he said he had “wrecked” his hands by preparing to take part in a long-drive contest.

However, starved of a mainstream audience since joining LIV, DeChambeau launched his own YouTube channel – which has around 700,000 subscribers – and appears to have succeeded in attracting a new, younger breed of fans who delighted in his relaxed interactions with them during play at Pinehurst.

And that fanbase could be about to get more chances to follow DeChambeau with an announcement expected tomorrow that significant progress has been made in talks between Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – which bankrolls LIV Golf – and the PGA Tour.

“If I’m to be quite frank, I hope we can figure things out quickly,” DeChambeau said. “I hope this can bridge the gap between a divided game.

“All I want to do is entertain and do my best for the game of golf, execute and provide some awesome entertainment for the fans. From at least what I can tell, that’s what the fans want, and they deserve that.

“You can say what’s happened in the past, you know, you were part of the reason…. let bygones be bygones and go figure it out.

“Let’s figure out this amazing game that creates so much positivity [and get it] back to where it belongs.”

DeChambeau previously won the US Open when it was staged at Winged Foot in September 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but struggled to reproduce that kind of form and was sidelined for two months in 2022 after ignoring medical advice to compete at Augusta National.

“The low point was after the Masters 2022,” DeChambeau said. “My hand got broke. It was broke and I had to go to have surgery.

“I thought there was a chance I would not play high-level, competitive golf again, not knowing how it would affect my game and my speed and everything.

“That whole four or five-month period was pretty rough. There were some definite low moments. Made me rethink a lot of things in life.

“Where it turned the corner was a week before Greenbrier last year. I put a driver and shaft combination in play and that whole combination set-up just flipped the switch in me.

“I went and shot 61, 58 on the weekend. I’m like, ‘OK, Bryson’s here again. How do I turn this into major championship golf now?’

“So right around that time frame is when things switched. I focused a lot of my energy on how to get another major title.”

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