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June 28, 2022

Abraham Ancer

Bryson DeChambeau

Matthew Wolff

Portland, Oregon, USA

Pumpkin Ridge

Press Conference

MODERATOR: Welcome to the LIV Golf Invitational Portland. This is our first event in the U.S. We're so excited to have you here, and the second stop in the series. Today we are joined by three new LIV golfers. We're so excited to have them. We have Matthew Wolff, Bryson DeChambeau and Abraham Ancer. And we'll kick it off by talking to you Bryson. You are known to be an innovator in everything that you do, which seems pretty closely aligned to what LIV is doing. So tell us a little bit about what excites you about LIV and how you intend to influence and innovate here as well.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Thanks, guys. Glad to be here. I think the most interesting thing for me about all of this is the team format. Obviously being part of a Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup and having this opportunity to be a captain and have a team has been extremely intriguing to me. It's unique, different, something that I've always been about, and I think that from an innovation side of things, this is what I wanted to be part of. I wanted to be a part of something unique, cool, different, fun. And it's what this has given me the opportunity to do. So as time moves forward, I think the team aspect is super awesome. I can't wait to be able to showcase a lot of fun out there on the golf course with my team.

Q. And you're a team captain. Right?


Q. Do you want to talk a little bit about that?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: It's different. It's wild. A lot of strategic decisions have to be made now. I kind of feel like my life has changed in a really unique way, and just being able to have certain players and kind of strategize like who's going to be in certain positions and how we're going to move forward on this golf course to even having potential coaches that coach the team or managers and how that all fits in the puzzle. It's all just this new unique opportunity that I'm excited to kind of puzzle piece together and figure out and make it a Team Crushers. That's my goal is to make Crushers have a unique identity, something that's different and can hopefully be something that people look forward to watching every week.

MODERATOR: Awesome. We're so happy to have you here.


MODERATOR: So, Matthew, you obviously played elite college golf and were at the top of your game. Obviously there's a team aspect there. Obviously it's 54 holes. How much of a factor did that play in making your decision to come to LIV Golf?

MATTHEW WOLFF: Yeah, I think it was huge. In college I feel like I really thrived. In every other sport, every other organization you're on a team, and I think there's something to be said about playing hard for yourself and your caddy, but when you have other people relying on you, it's different. And you give everything you've got, and I feel like there's a lot of times, and like he said, Ryder Cup, I unfortunately haven't been on any one of those teams yet, but you see so many guys that step up to the occasion on that Ryder Cup team, and the best comes out when they're on a team, and they try really hard to play not only for themselves, but everyone else. And I loved college. I really did. It was probably the best years of my life, and I played with so many great people. And I just feel like there was a dynamic there that just really suited me. And that was a big decision why I wanted to come be a part of LIV. And on top of that, too, 54-hole tournaments, that's what college was, and I feel like I thrived in that setting, and I just feel like I do have one win out on the PGA TOUR, but I feel like I led quite a few tournaments, including the U.S. Open that Bryson took from me.


MATTHEW WOLFF: I'm just kidding. But I think that I really thrived in that scenario and with that many holes, and not only on a team, but it's just cool to have that camaraderie out here. I've already just loved it. I've only been out here for a couple of days, and everyone seems like they have a smile on their face. Everyone's happy, and there's an excitement and energy coming around here that I honestly feel a little bit of, and it's nice. I'm smiling a lot.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Abraham, you are golf's biggest star in Mexico, obviously. So are you excited to be representing Mexico here? And what type of an impact do you think LIV will have on the game at home and your participation in LIV.

ABRAHAM ANCER: Yeah, I'm definitely excited about that part of this change in my life and decision. I think it's going to be amazing for Mexican golf, a lot more opportunities will rise. I am pumped to see where Mexican golf is headed. And, yeah, just creating more opportunity. I will have a little bit more time, too, to be involved and be actually there trying to grow the game over there. So I'm extremely excited about that part, for sure.

MODERATOR: Excellent. Thank you. We'll open it up to the floor for questions.

Q. This question is more for Matt and for Abraham, because, Bryson, your victory in the U.S. Open has you exempt in the majors for a couple of years, but for you two, guys who have joined at least right now are seeing their rankings kind of fall because of the lack of ranking points. How much did eligibility for playing in the majors factor into this decision, because obviously if you play the rest of the year and you don't play any PGA TOUR events, it's going to be harder to get points and harder to into the majors. Does that matter?

ABRAHAM ANCER: Well, personally, of course, it matters. I definitely want to play majors, 100 percent. I think we are going to get -- I mean, we already have a pretty strong field and a pretty strong case to get world ranking points. So I feel like it would be kind of crazy not to get any points if we're playing in these big-time events. So definitely banking on having some points going forward, hopefully sooner rather than later. And we want to be competing in these majors, 100 percent. So for me personally, yeah, it's a big decision. It's something that is very important to me, and hopefully it gets resolved, and I think it would be great for golf. I mean, how can you have some guys in the top 50 in the world and not play in these events? I mean, I think it would be -- it would be pretty wrong not to have some of us.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Just to say something quickly. You have the Hero World Challenge and they have ranking points there. Why can't we have the same, too, you know?

MATTHEW WOLFF: Yeah. I mean, just kind of piggybacking off what Abe said, I think it's important. The reason why we're here is because we got a great opportunity, but also because we want to play unbelievable tournaments against really good guys. And more and more people have joined, and there's already been a big list that joined in the first place. And we have a lot of really strong players, and we're playing really good golf courses, and I feel like I know they're trying everything that they can to get world ranking points for us. So I think it's a big deal. You know, we all want to play the best tournaments in the world, in majors and win trophies, and I feel like there's really no difference. It's just being able to go out here and compete and try to play your best.

Q. What if that doesn't happen, though? What if the world rankings they decide there's going to be a two-year waiting period or whatever it is and you guys don't get to play the next year or the year after?

MATTHEW WOLFF: We're talking about today. It's what-if. I've made the decision, and I'm really happy with where I'm at. It's just speculation. Obviously stuff is going to happen over the period of how long over the next two years, over the next three, five, however many. So for me it's just it is what it is. I'm really happy with being here and playing against the best players in the world and trying to win trophies, and I don't think it means any less because there's not world ranking points.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It would be nice to coexist as well.

Q. I was wondering if you guys could just run through the factors that went into making the decision to be here. Obviously a big departure from the PGA TOUR. But whether it's the money involved, the time, seeing other guys commit first, what was it that put you over the top in terms of deciding to commit to LIV?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I'll take that first. One of the things for me it was a personal business decision. For me I run and operate my golf as a business as well as wanting to be one of the better players in the world. Second off, it was going to give me more resources and opportunities to reinvest in my local community, in Dallas, and back at my original home in California where I can do things for junior golf tours, improve my foundation, and also build the multi-sport complex I'm going to build here shortly in Dallas, and also give me more time to rest, the ability to have weeks off and recover my body in the way I want to so that I can be prepared to give it my all when it comes time, not be depleted every week and continuing to get depleted over the course of time. So that was one of the things. And then the last part is I saw that first event in London and how much fun everybody was having. That was exciting to me. And I wanted to be a part of something like that.

ABRAHAM ANCER: Yeah. Well, I actually made a list of a lot of like pros and cons, and it wasn't definitely an easy decision. If it was just a business decision, then, yeah, it was extremely easy. Right? But, no, it just came down to quality of life for me. I felt like in the last two, three years I've been giving my all to like golf and business outside of golf as well. So I haven't really had a life outside of golf and business, so I felt like I haven't really seen my family that much. So, yeah, I just talked to everybody that is close to me and kind of put the cards on the table. And it was -- I guess it came down to being an easier decision than I thought. Yeah. I mean, just really came down to quality of life, obviously getting a pay grade better than what you had and being able to spend more time with the stuff you like to do outside of golf as well, it was big. I definitely missed spending time with my family and my friends, and that is also really important to me. I feel like I was not as happy as I probably will be now with having that balance in life outside of golf. So that's what came down for me.

MATTHEW WOLFF: I mean, I think they just covered it. You know, the first question that I was asked was a lot of it was the team aspect. To me I just -- I loved college so much. I loved being on a team. I love traveling with people or, even this morning I got up in the morning, went down and walked down into breakfast, and Abe and Hudson were sitting there, and there was everyone at a table, conversing, families with their kids, and just seemed like a really good setting. Everyone was upbeat and really happy about it, and it was cool to be a part of it. I mean, at the end of the day I just, obviously, like they said, it's a money thing, too. I'm not saying that that's not a part of the decision, but I don't know what my future holds. I don't know if I'm going to be able to play for how long, and I'd love to play for many, many years, but stuff happens. Freak accidents or anything. And God forbid, I don't want that to happen to me and I don't wish it upon anyone else, but it was an opportunity that I just felt had all the right things that I kind of wanted. Obviously, like I said, business decision, the financial security and independence, and then on top of that, the team and a little bit more time off, for me I feel like the same way, I'm very social. I know a few of you guys in here, and I like to talk, and I'm very open. And for me my family is important; my friends are important, and it's been hard to be able to make time to go see them and go hang out with them, and it's something that I feel like I've definitely been lacking in my life, and this gives me a really good opportunity to have an amazing balance that I'm just really excited about.

Q. For all of you, maybe you've heard that there's been widespread vocal opposition by politicians, you guys being here saying you're just taking Saudi blood money. 11 mayors have signed a letter saying the tournament should not be played. The U.S. senator has been highly outspoken. So I just wanted to get your response to why you don't think that is the overriding issue about human rights.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I mean, I personally think that I respect everyone's opinion and decisions, just like I hope they would on our side as well. Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, and from my perspective, we're golfers. We're providing entertainment globally, and we'll continue to do so as time goes on.

Q. A question to all three of you, actually. My question is to all three of you in the sense there's one tour where you can actually go and play freely and get world ranking points, and that's the Asian Tour because of the affiliation with Performance 54 and LIV Golf. Is that something that you have in your mind that maybe when you want to get some world ranking points or competitive golf in when the LIV Golf series is not happening, that you would like to do?

ABRAHAM ANCER: For me, it's definitely on the table. I mean, I like to compete. I like to go to new places. I like to play around the world. I just don't -- I told my agent also, I like to feel like outside of my comfort zone sometimes and play all over the world, and I think that's a great option for sure, yeah.

MATTHEW WOLFF: Yeah, I agree. I think it's -- I love traveling and stuff, and even with this tour I'm going to go to Thailand later this year, and just going all over the world playing amazing golf courses, being in different cultures, you know, I just feel like it's great. And I'm just excited.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, that's definitely a possibility. I would love to showcase my skill set wherever it takes me. I have no issues with that, and if it's a way for world ranking points, it's a way for world ranking points. I hope that can change in regards to the context we previously talked about, in regards to us having some of the best players in the world and being able to have that conversation at the world ranking board.

Q. Bryson, what, if anything, could the PGA TOUR have done to avert this, at least in your own case, and what's changed for you since February when, you know, a lot of guys said they were sticking with the PGA TOUR, obviously guys have now changed their mind?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think, again, a lot of the conversations that players have been having and have had with Jay are private conversations, but we have talked to him a lot and other players a lot, and the PGA TOUR members at numerous times, numerous scenarios about multiple opportunities. I don't know. I really don't know. It's not my place to make the decision. I've tried to be on the pack for a long time and was never put in place on that board, and it is what it is, and I respect that. I have no issues with it. But in regards to that first question, I really don't have a clue, unfortunately. I wish I did. And the second question again, can you remind me?

Q. What changed for you personally over the last few months?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, obviously it was a difficult decision. Like Abe said, weighing the pros and the cons of both scenarios, if it was only a business decision, then, yeah, it would have been really easily made, but as time went on, trying to decide how it works with everyone else and how this all comes together was a big decision and influence on my part as it comes to me saying what I said about playing with the best players in the world. I think that over the course of time that will continue to change, but there are some of the best players in the world here right now, and I'm still looking forward to playing against them this week.

Q. You all are all relatively young players. As you were presented with this opportunity, was the long-term viability of LIV Golf a concern, and if so, how did they -- how was that kind of assuaged in your conversations with the tour?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: As of right now, there's a contract in place for, I think, all of us, and me. Again, it came to a place where the pros outweighed the cons heavily on our end, or at least on my end, and we made that decision for the future that, you know, that that was the decision I made, and I think a lot of us have made. Not only that, but to innovate, I've always been an innovator. I've always liked to do things a little differently, and being a part of something special and unique and different with the team atmosphere is really cool. Being able to sometimes rely on other people when you don't have your best and then them rely on you when they don't have their best is really awesome. And, again, I think as time goes on, you'll see how much fun everybody is having out here and the skill set that we provide to the public out here. We're great golfers. We'll continue to improve our games. I know that, and we'll work harder because of the structure that's set up. We want to provide the best for our teams and for the future of golf.

Q. Bryson, this is for you. You know, we heard you talk about how it was a business decision and you were going to contribute to your local communities, et cetera, with the money that you were making. But given the controversial nature of LIV Golf at this point, do you have any concerns about your reputation or your legacy?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I think legacy can be created anywhere you provide your skill set. I think that as it relates to your first question, you know, from my perspective on the business decision side, I made that because of how it was going to affect me personally and my community around me. It wasn't, again, just an, oh, I'm selfish and taking all of this and whatnot. It was more of how can this do good for the people around me. Now that I have this opportunity presented in front of me, what can I do good with it in my community back in California where I grew up and in numerous other junior golf events and areas and other potentials moving forward. I mean, my dad was -- he's a diabetic and was going to die probably three or four years ago, if he didn't get a kidney. And the National Kidney Foundation came and helped him out. And it would be doing them a disservice if I wasn't able to give back to them, the person that helped my father stay alive, the organization that helped my father stay alive.

Q. Bryson, with the teams being announced later today, I'm just curious, you obviously value having a lot of information at your disposal. How do you balance between what you tell your team versus what you might want to keep to yourself?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: That's a great question, actually. I love that. I don't know how much I'm going to give, but I will strategically have conversations about the golf course and how -- I think over time as teams get more and more set, more information will be delivered, because we are individuals, but also we want to piggyback off each other and work in a manner that it's all positive where we're all growing and working together for the same goal of winning each team championship as well. So for my information I'm going to let the guys do what they do. I don't have a problem with each unique personality and character and skill set. My goal in being a captain is to provide them the best opportunity to be successful. I've learned that in Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups. Tiger did a great job with that in allowing us to just flow and do our thing, and that's what I'm going to continue to do on my end for the team.

Q. And one more for Abraham. You and Carlos are Olympic teammates. I'm curious how much you guys conversed about the opportunity here.

ABRAHAM ANCER: Yeah. I mean, that came up really quickly. I think how it happened it was not something that we've been talking about for a while. It just came up really quickly, to be honest. I didn't know -- I didn't really talk to him about the opportunity or anything until pretty much a couple days before the announcement. So, yeah, I'm excited. I'm excited to have my countryman in this new venture. I think it's going to be really cool. It's going to be really good for Mexican golf as well, like we were talking about previously. And it's going to be exciting. I'm pumped. I'm pumped. I grew up watching and playing team sports, and then in college I had a great time. I remember a bunch of times where maybe you were not having your best day, but you knew -- you can't give up, not only for yourself, but every shot counts, and for your team it's important. I think it brings in another layer to golf, which is for me very exciting.

MATTHEW WOLFF: I also think just piggybacking off of this, for me like when you're not playing your best, I was joking around with my caddy last night, it's like 75 never looked so good. It's like when you're on a team and you have a couple people that play well in that final round, you shoot 75, but one guy on your team might not play as well and shoot 77, it's like that 75, even though it wasn't great and it's not what you had, it could have been enough to win or get you on the podium or like, you know, just -- and I think that for golf it's so hard because, you know, when you're out there, it's like if you shoot 75 in a normal tournament when you're not on a team, it like, you know, you just feel like you lost. There's so many opportunities like to lose in the game of golf, and I think this is like a great opportunity to like where if you're on a team, if you're in baseball and you go, you know, one for five or something like that, which, you know, wouldn't be terrible, but if you have a bad game, strike out three or four times and then you have a single that puts you on and then you end up scoring a run and like help your team, it's like you're going to go back to your hotel being like I just helped my team win. Like that was amazing! You're not even going to think about the strikeouts that you had, and I just think that this just gives you such good opportunity, and getting back to why I joined, it's just college. It's like you're going to try so hard for your team, and it just gives you so much more opportunity to enjoy yourself and have little small wins and feel good about yourself rather than shooting 75 on a Sunday and, you know -- even if it was playing really tough, there's always going to be people that scored better than you, and you're always to look at yourself as like I could have played better, I could have done this, I could have done that, whereas like 75 never looked so good.

Q. Matthew, you were open last year about taking time off and working, trying to find the balance in your life and golf and working on your mental health, and I'm guessing that's something that continues. It always goes on. And you hinted at it before, but this schedule, this format, how much did that play into this decision, too, and maybe this giving you more chances to work on that and being better suited for you?

MATTHEW WOLFF: Yeah, 100 percent. I think, you know, it's hard when you're out there struggling and you've gotta play three, four weeks in a row, and you feel like you're in a rut. You feel like you just can't get out of it. And, you know, here, being able to really prepare, have more time. I mean, also, I know this is my job, but it's like on your off weeks, too, I mean sometimes when you're traveling for three weeks in a row and you got one week off, my coach, he lives in California. So it's like do I want to spend time with my girlfriend and my dog at home and enjoy my time off and sleep in my own bed or do I want to go travel again across the country and go work with my swing coach and then not have time for that. So I think it just kind of gives me that perfect balance of being able to enjoy my time off the golf course and even when I'm not at a tournament, be able to go travel and work, and I feel like, honestly, because of the little breaks that we get as well, when you're just playing one week and then you have some time off, I feel like I'm going to be excited to come to every tournament. And it's not that I wasn't excited to play in every tournament that I've played in, because I know the opportunities that I've gotten have been unreal and I'm thankful for every single one of them. But when you're not playing well and you miss a couple of cuts in a row and you're on that third week and you're already committed to play and you're like, I don't have my game, I'm struggling out here, I haven't seen my family in a while. And it's just like I'm not saying you're not thankful for the opportunity, but you're like, gosh, it would be nice to just go home for a week and reset. And I think that kind of gives you the opportunity to do that. And at the end of the day I think what I've said not only about the team aspect and what they're doing for that and the golf, but also just the vibe. I mean, I don't know -- I haven't given many interviews recently, but I feel like I'm sounding the best that I've sounded in a long time. I have a smile on my face. I'm happy. I'm smiling. I mean, I feel a little different, honestly. It feels great to be here.

Q. Bryson, you've mentioned a lot about how LIV Golf has opened up business opportunities and more opportunities for you outside of golf, and there's been very little answers for how LIV Golf is going to impact your guys' actual golf game with playing less or not. Are there any concerns that you guys are going to have about maybe not playing as regularly with your actual golf game? And do you guys still view yourselves as professional golfers or more as entertainers and businessmen now?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think we're both. We're both professional golfers and entertainers, as well as when I was playing on the PGA TOUR, I was still an entertainer. So there's no doubt about that. But how it's going to help my game personally is that I'm going to give myself more time to practice and hone in on that skill set. Yes, it's going to give me more time with my family, but it's going to give me more time to prepare for events, to get ready, to get my body ready. When you're one, two, three weeks on, sometimes it's difficult. And I'm not knocking it at all. I'm just saying it provides a different opportunity for a guy like me that likes to practice, obviously as everybody knows, I love to practice, and I think that that's going to give me the opportunity to hone in on my skill set; whereas, yeah, playing in tournaments is crucial. It's huge as well. And there are times, look, I have not resigned my PGA TOUR membership. I want to play the PGA TOUR. It's not my decision for me if I can or can't play, but I would love to continue to play and I would say give myself more opportunities to play, but as of right now, the current structure I believe as time goes on -- we'll see how it plays out, but as time goes on, it's awesome for me in regards to being able to continue to grow my skill set as time goes on. And also be able to do stuff on YouTube, Instagram, social media, that's also big for me. I love showing kids behind the scenes, kind of in-depth version of what I do outside the game as well, and even just going and playing nine holes on a random golf course and whatnot. It's hopefully entertaining to those kids and people that are growing up watching us players, and hopefully as time goes on, that'll allow for everyone else to kind of hop on that trend and see what we can do, not just on the golf course, but off the golf course.

ABRAHAM ANCER: Yeah, and for me, I'm way too competitive to let myself get worse at golf. I feel like I will be doing everything possible to stay competitive and get better at what I do. I feel like my nature of I feel like it's never enough. And I just want to get better at what I do. It doesn't matter if it's outside the golf course or just strictly golf. So I'm a perfectionist. I am not going to show up to a golf tournament and be like, well, we'll see how it goes. I want to be prepared, and I want to get better every single time. So I'm not going to let myself just be like, whatever. I'm pumped to be here. I want to compete. I want to beat these two guys here next to me and I'll be happy to go.


Q. Bryson, I know you said it was a business decision and you can do more in your community. Did you have any concerns about the source of the money and do you understand some people's concerns about it?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I respect it. I understand people's decisions on their comments and whatnot. But as it relates to me, I have personally made that in my own -- as my own decision, and I won't say any more on that. There's no need. We're golfers at the end of the day, and I think that I respect everybody's opinion. That's the most important thing people can hopefully understand out of me is I do respect it, but golf is a force for good, and I think as time goes on, hopefully people will see the good that they are doing and what they are trying to accomplish rather than looking at the bad that's happened before. I think moving on from that is important, and going and continuing to move forward in a positive light is something that could be a force for good for the future of the game.

MATTHEW WOLFF: I also think Bryson talked about it earlier about legacy. This is really quick, but I just think that at the end of the day people think of legacy as like golfer or like athlete, baseball player. It's like that's your legacy. But it's like what Bryson is saying, and I think what we're all trying to say is that with this opportunity we're going to be able to give back more. We're going to be able to have the ability to spend more time, you know. I know Bryson has a foundation. I'm looking to have a foundation. Like I want to give back. I didn't grow up with much. I wouldn't say I was struggling, but you know, traveling to tournaments, I mean I was 14 years old traveling across the country alone. My mom would drop me off at the airport, and I'd have a host family, get picked up by someone who worked at a tournament. And, you know, it's hard. It's hard. And I think that you can affect your legacy not on the golf course, but off the golf course, because at the end of the day, legacy isn't just about how you play golf. It's about how you treat people, how you respect people, how you interact with people. Every single person that I walk across, I try to say thank you for their help. And we're all equal out here, and if you can have a legacy outside of golf, which I think not only is this LIV making us have an opportunity to have a legacy inside golf, but a lot more outside golf as well and reach a broader spectrum. I think that's really important to Bryson, it's important to me, and I think it's important to a lot of people that have joined this tour.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Looking forward is the most important thing we can do in regards to this game of golf. We continue to do that, we can grow relationships. We can grow the game. We can do whatever we can to enhance the opportunities for players and kids in general. I think that's the most important thing we can do is look forward.

MODERATOR: Well said. Thank you guys so much.

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