Bryson DeChambeau Hits Out At 'Completely Inaccurate' LIV Sportswashing Claims

DeChambeau was asked about sportswashing ahead of LIV's Australian debut this week in Adelaide

Bryson DeChambeau speaks at a press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bryson DeChambeau has said that talk of LIV Golf being a sportswashing exercise for the Saudi Arabian regime is "completely inaccurate."

The Saudi-backed circuit has received plenty of criticisms over the past year including from 9/11 Families and human rights groups like Amnesty International. 

The 48-man, 12-team circuit makes its Australian debut this week, where it is being heralded for bringing back top level golf, and golfers, to a country that has been starved of it. However, not everyone is welcoming the tour, with Human Rights Watch researcher Joey Shea, a specialist in Saudi politics, calling LIV a blatant example of "sportswashing" in an interview with ABC News.

"Saudi Arabia has experienced one of its worst periods for human rights in its modern history," she told ABC this week.

"Last year in March, we saw the largest single day execution in recent history. 81 people were executed in Saudi Arabia in a single day. We really see LIV Golf as a major sportswashing attempt by Saudi Arabia to cover up its egregious abuses."

Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open winner and former World No.5, was asked about LIV and sportswashing ahead of the event in Adelaide, and he called those claims "completely inaccurate".

"Well, we talked about that last year, and we already kind of kicked that to the curb," DeChambeau said.

"It's something that I truthfully believe is completely inaccurate. People have their opinions and their perspectives on it, but we certainly don't feel that way. We're playing golf here."

DeChambeau puts his finger to his mouth whilst watching his tee shot

DeChambeau missed the cut at Augusta National

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He also said that The Masters was "awesome", where LIV players got the chance to socialise with and compete against the best from the PGA Tour for the first time since last July's 150th Open.

"At the Masters it was awesome. Everybody that I had previously had relationships with, nothing changed from my perspective," he said on whether the perceived frosty relationships between LIV and PGA Tour players were thawing.

"Like I play out of Dallas National, and I see Spieth every once in a while, and we don't have any issues. There's no problems. Will Zalatoris, same thing, there's no issues.

"I think a lot of it's the media sometimes, not necessarily you guys. Australia has been fantastic. But sometimes that's just what it is. I understand it. I think we all do. But at a certain point in time we're all golfers. We still play great golf, and as you can see at the Masters you had three of the four up at the top were LIV players."

What has Greg Norman previously said about sportswashing?

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman last year called out the PGA Tour for being hypocritical over sportswashing claims.

"The hypocrisy coming out of this is so deafening it's ridiculous," Norman said in September on Piers Morgan Uncensored. "The PGA Tour has title sponsors that have a great working relationship, for a commercial opportunity, with the Saudi Government and with the PIF (Public Investment Fund)." 

They echoed words he said last June when it was suggested that players were accepting "blood money".

“Look, I’m disappointed people go down that path, quite honestly. If they want to look at it in prism, then why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing 40 plus billion dollars worth of business with Saudi Arabia? Why is it OK for the sponsors? Will Jay Monahan [PGA Tour Commissioner] go to each and every one of those CEOs of the 23 companies that are investing into Saudi Arabia and suspend them and ban them?  The hypocrisy in all this, it’s so loud. It’s deafening," he said on One Nation with Brian Kilmeade on Fox News.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV