13-Time Pro Winner To Make LIV Golf Debut In Bryson DeChambeau's Team

Crushers GC are leading the team standings in the LIV Golf League this season, but they have been forced into a change as the second half of the season begins this weekend...

OWGR Bryson DeChambeau
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bryson DeChambeau has been forced into making a change to his table-topping Crushers side as the second half of the LIV Golf League season begins in Houston this weekend.

Crushers have an 11.5 point lead over Legion XIII in the LIV team standings after seven events - helped by their two successive victories in Jeddah and Hong Kong.

And as they begin the back nine of their season, DeChambeau, Paul Casey, and Anirban Lahiri will tee it up at the Golf Club of Houston as normal, but Charles Howell III has sustained an injury and will be unable to compete.

Replacing Howell III and making his LIV Golf debut this weekend will be John Catlin - the leading golfer on the Asian Tour this season.

The 33-year-old American sits first in the Asian Tour Order of Merit ahead of LIV's David Puig and Carlos Ortiz as a result of back-to-back triumphs at the International Series Macau and the Saudi Open in March and April, respectively.

A screenshot of John Catlin's Instagram story which shows the range at Golf Club of Houston

(Image credit: John Catlin Instagram)

"Yeah, so I got a text probably four or five days ago now, and he's like, "man, I'm sorry, I'm not going to be able to play." He's like, "I fully snapped my leg in half." No, I'm joking. He has a stress fracture I think in his left leg. I believe it's a stress fracture. Don't quote me on that," DeChambeau said of Howell III's injury.

"But he told me it was a little hairline something in his leg, and he said he just couldn't do it this week, but he's trying to be ready for Nashville, which is great. 

"Funny enough, I've played with John Catlin a little bit growing up in junior golf. I've known him for quite a while. He's been playing some amazing golf. I thought he would be a great fit for the Crushers this week. Certainly looking forward to having him on the team this week and helping out."

At the International Series Macau, Catlin became the first player in Asian Tour history to shoot a 59 - doing so in the third round before a closing 65 secured the title. His highest score of that week was a 67 in round one.

He has also made four starts on the DP World Tour this season, making the cut each time but managing a best result of 10th at the Mauritius Open - won by Louis Oosthuizen - in December.

Catlin has three victories on the DP World Tour throughout his 11-year pro career - all of which arrived within a sparkling eight-month spell between late 2020 and early 2021.

The Sacramento, California-born player claimed the Andalucia Masters in Spain during September 2020 before winning the Irish Open just a matter of weeks later. His hat-trick was completed in April the following year when Catlin hoisted the Austrian Golf Open trophy after defeating Maximilian Kieffer in a playoff.

Catlin - who attended the University of New Mexico - is currently ranked 169th in the OWGR and has a total of 13 professional wins - six of which came on the Asian Tour.

John Catlin holds the International Series Macau trophy

John Catlin holds the International Series Macau trophy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

His LIV debut will come at the Golf Club of Houston - site of the PGA Tour's Shell Houston Open between 2006 and 2019. Speaking to LIV Golf media staff, Catlin's temporary captain, DeChambeau said of the layout: “The Golf Club of Houston is a tough golf course – a lot of water and a lot of difficult holes. Hopefully, it will give us a good test for the following week.”

Days after the event in Houston, 12 LIV players will be heading east for the 124th US Open Championship at Pinehurst No.2 in North Carolina.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.