PGA Tour Accused of Pushing Bridgestone, Mastercard to Cancel LIV Golfers’ Sponsorships

Bryson Dechambeau The 2022 OPEN Championship
Bryson Dechambeau tees off on the 3rd hole during a practice round prior to The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 13, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington via Getty Images)

Amid news that the PGA Tour is under investigation by the Department of Justice for anti-trust practices, Bridgestone ended its relationship with Bryson DeChambeau while Mastercard “paused” its sponsorships of Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell.

“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,” stated the company in a press release.

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

DeChambeau played the Bridgestone golf ball for the last few years and was marketed as the brand’s young star alongside the middle-aged Tiger Woods and senior player Fred Couples.

In a report at, Mastercard vice president of communications Seth Eisen said, “We have paused the activation of our relationship with Ian and Graeme, recognizing the uncertainties around their standing with the PGA Tour.”

Ian Poulter Mastercard Sponsorship
Ian Poulter on the 1st green during the final round of the RBC Heritage at Harbor Town Golf Links on April 17, 2022 in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox via Getty Images)

Poulter has been with the credit card company since 2009, with McDowell on board since 2011.

A source close to the situation emailed this space and posits the PGA Tour as the force behind both decisions.

“The only sponsors cutting off relationships with LIV golfers are brands that are in bed with the PGA Tour, such as Mastercard, RBC, Workday, Rocket Mortgage and Bridgestone,” wrote the source.

“Look at Bridgestone for example. They say, “Bryson DeChambeau will no longer be participating in these events” – Hello! Their big event is the Bridgestone Senior PLAYERS. It’s a tournament on the Champions (senior) Tour. Bryson is 28 and has 22 years to go before he’s 50.

“Plus, notice they are making these announcements during the week of The Open to peak-level embarrass the players, while also claiming to not want drama (eye roll).

“What does that tell you!? The Tour is using mob-like tactics to damage a players’ brand. The investigation by the DOJ is going to be so simple to find anti-trust violations.”

For the record, Bridgestone (Bridgestone Senior PLAYERS), RBC (RBC Heritage and RBC Canadian Open) and Rocket Mortgage (Rocket Mortgage Classic) are title sponsors of PGA Tour events, while Mastercard (Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard, The Open Championship) and Workday (Memorial Tournament Presented by Workday) are presenting tournament sponsors.

UPDATE: Bryson DeChambeau pretty much confirmed this accusation by saying he “loves” Bridgestone and will “hopefully continue to work with them.”

“I love them. I love what they do,” said DeChambeau after his opening round at The 150th Open. “I still will hopefully continue to have conversation with the R & D team all the time.

“I’ve given them five or six different little things that have helped improve the golf ball. And hopefully will continue to do so.”

When asked if he was surprised by the announcement, he said, “No. I respect it and understand everybody’s position and the ties that everybody has. I respect it.”

This post was updated by editor to remove adjectives, describing the Bridgestone and Mastercard brands.


  1. The editors of Pro Golf Weekly really need to reign in Jeff Smith and his anti every thing PGA attitude. Calling the Bridgestone ball poorly rated or Rocket Mortgage predatory lenders is just childish. You do not need to work a slur into every sentence

    We get you hate the PGA but who reads this Magazine. The non golf media went overboard bashing Liv Golf but the true golf fans know Liv is a joke for the same reason the big soccer clubs sufffered backlash for trying to limit competion to just the big teams. Greed

    • Why would they reign me in… because I don’t toe PGA Tour line? I don’t hate PGAT. I just don’t like the groupthink and unfair media coverage. I also hate arrogance. And if you’ve ever dealt with the tour, you’d understand.

      This competition from LIV is the best thing to happen to the PGA Tour since the arrival of Tiger.

      My half dozen or so stories just on LIV Golf/PGA Tour last month had nearly 1 million page views.


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