The first day of the LIV Golf London tournament was a success.
The first day of play for the brand-new LIV Golf league is in the books, with the LIV Golf Invitational Series teeing off on Thursday in London, after months of anticipation and controversy.
After the first round, South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Hennie du Plessis led the field. Schwartzel claimed the lead after a 5-under 65 on Thursday, with Du Plessis one stroke behind at 4 under. After each shooting a 1-under 69, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson were tied for seventh place.
The PGA Tour suspended the 17 players playing in the tournament after the tee-off. Players that play in LIV tournaments are unable to compete on the PGA Tour or any of the other circuits sanctioned by the league. Players who compete in future LIV Golf tournaments will be subjected to the same penalties.
Rocket Mortgage spokesman Aaron Emerson confirmed the two companies’ separation on Thursday, citing DeChambeau’s choice to join LIV as the reason.
In a statement, Emerson stated, “Rocket Mortgage has been a long-time supporter of the PGA Tour, both as an official partner and as an event host.” “The Rocket Mortgage Classic has swiftly established itself on the Tour, with players flocking to Detroit to participate while simultaneously helping to close the digital gap in our community.” Our PGA Tour alliance includes numerous well-known players, like Bryson DeChambeau, who serve as brand ambassadors for the Rocket Mortgage brand. Bryson chose to join the LIV Golf Series, as has been widely publicised.
“Rocket Mortgage has terminated its sponsorship relationship with Bryson with immediate effect. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.”
In 2020, DeChambeau won the PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, and soon after became a partner with the company.
His sponsorship was revoked as a result of his LIV ties, which is not uncommon among athletes. After statements he made earlier this year about the new league and human rights issues by Saudi Arabia, which allegedly included the execution of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, RBC terminated connections with Johnson, and Mickelson lost most of his sponsors.
Throughout Thursday’s first round in England, players were spotted sporting caps and shirts with Adidas, TaylorMade, Ping, Srixon, Citi, and other brand logos, indicating that not every firm has decided to cancel partnerships with golfers.
When contacted by ESPN on Wednesday, TaylorMade said it had no comment on future plans, while Adidas did not respond.