Sponsor Rocket Mortgage said Thursday it had cut ties with Bryson DeChambeau after the 2020 US Open champion said he would play on the controversial Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.
“Rocket Mortgage has been a long-time supporter of the PGA Tour, both through our role as an official partner and as a tournament host,” the Detroit-based home-lending company said in a statement to US media outlets, including the Detroit News.
“The Rocket Mortgage Classic has quickly become a fixture on the Tour, with players coming to Detroit to compete, while also raising crucial funds to help bridge the digital divide in our city.
“Our partnership with the PGA Tour extends to include several prominent golfers, including Bryson DeChambeau, as ambassadors of the Rocket Mortgage brand.
“As has been widely reported, Bryson elected to join the LIV Golf Series. Effective immediately, Rocket Mortgage has ended its sponsorship agreement with Bryson.”
The rebel LIV Golf series launched on Thursday near London. Minutes after the inaugural event teed off, the US PGA Tour slapped a ban on players who are competing “for their own financial-based reasons,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan wrote in a statement.
Monahan had long vowed that the PGA Tour would not countenance players jumping ship to the LIV circuit, which is set to feature eight tournaments this year.
Bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the events are worth a combined $255 million.
DeChambeau, the crowd-pleasing long-hitter, is poised to make his LIV debut in the second event, scheduled in Oregon later this month.
He is reportedly receiving $100 million to play the tour. Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson and former world number one Dustin Johnson — who have reported received $200 million and $125 million respectively — have also lost sponsorship deals.
Mickelson had no corporate logos on his clothing when he teed off on Thursday.