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May 24, 2023

Bryson DeChambeau

Anirban Lahiri

Charles Howell

Washington DC, USA

Trump National Golf Club

Crushers GC

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Let's welcome the Crushers to the press center. We are joined by Charles Howell III, Bryson DeChambeau, our captain, and Anirban Lahiri. This course looks absolutely beautiful. It also looks like a monster. Have any of you guys ever played it before?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I played it, was it two, three years ago with the former President and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Obviously he's not with us anymore, so rest his soul. But it was an amazing time. There was like 50 carts, I think, going down, which is pretty cool.

It's a great golf course. It's a long golf course, right on the water. It's pretty special. You get some wind. Those holes around the water are very difficult.

I think it's 11 this week, they're playing the right green, which is diabolical, so I'm looking forward to seeing how people are going to play that. But it's a very, very beautiful, esthetically beautiful golf course.

CHARLES HOWELL III: I've played here by myself. (Laughter.)

No, I played some last night and some early this morning. The course is fantastic. Condition of it couldn't be better. It's incredible, with the views of the Potomac and whatnot. But like Bryson said, it's going to be a heck of a test. Some of the easy holes are fairly easy, and some of the hard holes are really hard. That's kind of what you want in a tournament golf course for scoring disparity, and it should be a good week.

ANIRBAN LAHIRI: Yeah, not much to add to that, but it's going to be a good test. Once the wind gets up, I think that's what the test really begins. Like Charles rightly said, there's a few holes where you almost have to take advantage because the other holes par is a good score. It's going to be a balance. Whoever makes fewer mistakes I think is going to walk away at the end of the week.

THE MODERATOR: We are obviously not joined by Paul Casey today. He is injured, and Andy Ogletree will be joining your team today. Do you have any update on Paul and what's going on?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I think he's working on -- his feet have been hurting him a little bit, and then ultimately just got to his body. He's in a place where he's recovering, and he'll be good in a couple weeks he told me, so no issues with that. That's what we're here to do, we're here to support him whatever his decision is to make sure his health is 100 percent. We need him 100 percent. He's a great golfer, great player, and for this team and LIV Golf we need him playing at his best and healthy.

Q. Have you played with Andy before?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, Orlando. He did really well, and then he played well last event in Tulsa, he shot 8-under. It's kind of hard not to pick him. I'm looking forward to some more good scores out of him. He's a great kid, great player. I love having him on the team, and he'll be a tremendous asset.

Q. Bryson, obviously you played incredible at the PGA Championship. You've really -- something has clicked for you. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, it's been a tough journey for me, keep it short and simple. There was a couple things I needed to do, and found somebody that helped me out, and thankful to these guys for being able to help me bring that all together because that's kind of what it's about; it's team golf.

There's an individual side to it, too, obviously, but it's nice to have people that can come and pat you on the back and go, it's okay, man, what about this, what about that. It was really special to come around the corner so quickly, and been able to play well, and it's just one of those things, when it clicks, as we all know, when something just clicks, you're able to just fire on all cylinders and go play golf the way you know how to.

Just like a kid again. I just felt like I was a kid again, free again playing, trying to score, shoot a number, and I think that's the fun part is when you get to the true part of the game that we love, it's a lot of fun when you're firing on all cylinders.

Q. The first six events, six different teams have won. Obviously you guys won the first event. That's certainly different than last year. Did you expect this kind of parity coming into the first league season from a team standpoint?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I don't think we knew what to expect. This year it's played out in that manner, and I think it's pretty cool. Just shows the testament of great play by each and every individual, because it isn't just -- one team isn't just dominating this year. The 4 Aces are playing consistently well, but you see everyone winning, which is a testament to each and every individual playing to their full capacity, and this is what it's about, competition. I think that's what drives all of us and what makes us want to win every single week.

Just seeing everybody else on there, we're like, no, we can do it, we know how to do it. We've had a couple chances ourselves other than the first week, and we've been like, we have more potential to keep winning. We have that firepower, just got to bring it all together.

ANIRBAN LAHIRI: Yeah, I think it also shows how a lot of players have actually raised their level. I also feel like after last year, a lot of teams kind of got the sense of what they need to do, kind of like what we did in Mexico. Charles played mindblowing golf, and we all kind of rallied around him. If you see most of the weeks the teams have won, they've had one guy who's really done well, Talor, for instance, those two weeks. DJ obviously has been consistent.

The thing is you need one or two players in your team to have a really good week and the rest of the team to rally. That's kind of been the story.

At the end of the day, like Bryson said, all four members have to contribute and keep putting in low numbers because there's a lot of birdies being made, and it's really exciting. I think the overall level has really lifted in 2023.

Q. Charles, did you feel like you set the tone in that first event in terms of, all right, this isn't just going to be kind of a repeat of what we saw last year?

CHARLES HOWELL III: You know, I think it took a little bit of time for the teams to fill themselves out and round themselves out. I think once that happened, and you see it speaks to a testament to the strength of field that we have at LIV. You look up on the leaderboard and you see how low you really have to shoot not only to win but to have a nice week, and you see all the names on the leaderboard from top to bottom, they're highly recognizable names no matter where they're at.

I think the parity and the team thing speaks to the strength of field more than anything because every team is strong. As far as me setting the tone earlier in the year, I don't know. I wish I knew how to push that button again, but we'll see.

Q. I did want to ask you, going back to what happened on Sunday, do you feel like that -- Bryson, you touched on this, help changed the perception a little bit around here?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, look, it proves that we can play in major championships, proves that the schedule is good enough for us to win major championships. We have numerous players up on the leaderboard. Mito played well last round; Cam played well; I did all right; Brooks winning. It's huge in general.

Yeah, it's an individual sport, but there's a team component to it now, and it's really cool to see how they're playing well not only for their teams and for themselves but for an organization that deserves to be mentioned a lot more in a better light than what it is.

LIV Golf has done wonders for not only us golfers but the communities that it's been to, and we're going to continue to improve that. We went to the Lindsey House in Tulsa a couple weeks ago, and that was eye opening. It was amazing what we were able to see and what was being accomplished there in Tulsa.

I think the more people start to realize we're not just playing golf but impacting communities, I think they're going to start to see the light that we're trying to shine in the game of golf.

Q. For many in the D.C. area, spectators, golf fans, this will be their first LIV Golf event. What can you tell fans, spectators as they show up this weekend?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: The first thing is it's team golf. You're going to get some spectacular golfers playing individually, obviously, but the team aspect is so unique. It's kind of like Formula 1, and you get to see us playing on a team and rooting for each other, and you can finally -- just like the Capitals, you can have a bunch of people rooting for you, and not only just for you but for the team. That's what I think is so special about LIV Golf is it brings that team atmosphere that you can start rooting not only for an individual but for a group of people.

Q. Apart from playing here a couple years ago, what's your overall experience with golf in the D.C. area, and do you have a sense of the enthusiasm for the sport in this market?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, I mean, I played here a few times. I played here a few times, and I love the area. It feels like northeast golf. I love northeast golf. I've played well, Winged Foot, obviously, Boston played well, Ridgewood, so I love the northeast. It's more of a ryegrass, bent greens. I love that type of environment.

I don't know, it's just something about the type of grass and the feeling in the air I get out here that I love, and so I respect and appreciate any golf course around here.

Q. Anirban, you were here last year at the Wells Fargo. What's the vibe being back here on a different tour, different format, and your thoughts on golf in this area?

ANIRBAN LAHIRI: I love coming to the D.C. area. I think it's an area that's starved of good golf. I think it's a really good sport-loving part of the country, as well. Like last year playing at TPC Potomac I had a good week, and the grasses -- as soon as I came back and I played yesterday, it was like, it feels like I'm almost in the same spot, which is kind of true because it's just across the river, but it's nice.

Like Bryson said, like the courses we've played here, whether it was Congressional a while ago or TPC Potomac or this, they're all big golf courses, they're all fantastic tests, and I think that's good to come to an area which has golf courses which are going to separate the best players from the average this week, and I think this golf course is also one of those.

Personally for me it's always great coming here. Lovely vibes, nice people. I like this weather, too. Hopefully it doesn't get cold like it did last year.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: And what did we do last night?

ANIRBAN LAHIRI: Yeah, we went out and I think Bryson and I had a blast. We were kids again. We went to the Blink 182 concert, music we grew up with. Things like that happen in towns like this, so it's nice to come to areas like here.

Q. Charles, you were at the Quicken Loans in 2018, the final incarnation, just to be back here on a different Tour.

CHARLES HOWELL III: So I'm old enough to remember when it was TPC Avenel. My fifth PGA TOUR event was at the Booz Allen at TPC Avenel many moons ago, but yeah, I played here every year, played there, then it became Potomac and Congressional, and it's fantastic. It's awesome golf.

Yeah, like they said, you've got a northeast feel here with the grasses and whatnot and obviously big sports fans. It always drew big crowds at Congressional and whatnot, so yeah, we're excited to be here.

Q. Bryson, you were booed pretty heavily on the tee on Saturday. I'm sure you remembered that. You've had your ethics called into question for joining the LIV Tour as have all the other players. My question is now that you're into it a little bit, has it been worth it?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I mean, look, we're here to play golf. We're contracted to play golf. I think the most important part is to provide great entertainment wherever possible on whatever platform that is, whatever platform that provides it.

When you can talk about ethics, that's people's perception. I completely disagree with it, but everybody has the right to their own opinion, and I'd say, was it worth it? Absolutely. This has been beyond my dreams, what I could have imagined this becoming, and it's only getting better. I think over the course of time, like many have said, you'll see what good and what positive impact we're having, and what we continue to keep doing every single tournament and growing and helping out the communities and inspiring junior golfers, helping people that are struggling, you're just going to see more and more of that, and I hope that, again, the media and everybody can see the light that we're trying to bring.

Q. For you, Charles, there was blowback when LIV held a tournament in New York, the site of one of the three 9/11 attacks. You're now in Washington, D.C., which is obviously the site of a 9/11 attack. Is that appropriate to hold a LIV Golf event here in this community, and is there any unease on your part about participating considering the history?

CHARLES HOWELL III: Well, first off, obviously that was a terrible day in our history, right? We have nothing but the deepest sympathies for every 9/11 victim and all that it affected.

As far as being here, this is one heck of a golf course, and it's awesome, and we're excited to be here. I've played for 23 years in a row in the D.C. area, and this venue is fantastic.

Yeah, I think it's awesome, and I think we are going to have a great week, and I think the fans are going to see it.

Q. Bryson, you just played in a PGA of America event. Obviously PGA of America sponsors the Ryder Cup. What are your thoughts about potentially being on that team? Do you guys deserve a chance, LIV guys, to be included?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Like Brad Faxon said, we're playing for our country, not playing for a Tour, not playing for money. He's right. If we're good enough to be selected or even make it on the points through majors, which is insane, we deserve that spot.

Q. With the World Golf Rankings being such an avenue into the majors, it seems like that's going to have to change. Do you have thoughts about that to give you guys more paths into consistently getting into the majors?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, there's been numerous ideas brought up. I think one that we're all looking at right now, at least from my perspective and what I've heard so far is just creating an exemption category for LIV players based on how they play during the course of the year. I think that would be the most fair and opportune thing for LIV Golfers considering the fields that we have, the major champions we have, and the elite level of play that we have each and every week.

If they're able to do that, I think everything is good. The OWGR points, we've gone so far down the list now that it's really difficult to make us even relevant. I think that was part of their play, which is fine. It is what it is. But I think there's another route to the majors.

Q. What have you found that you like or dislike about 54 holes versus 72?


ANIRBAN LAHIRI: You like it or you dislike it?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I love rest. It's so nice being able to go in fresh to another major or get another week off to work with your coach or get your body healthy or spend time with family.

I think the people underestimate how much time we lose by just having one more day of golf. It doesn't seem like much, and it seems like oh, man, it's just golf, you should just go out and have fun. I get it, but for us it's our job, and we work really, really hard to be the absolute best at it. So that extra day back with family, it's so nice.

CHARLES HOWELL III: I'd echo the same sentiment. Yeah, you still see a lot of guys on the range on a Monday, so it's not like guys are showing up Thursday. That's one thing I've noticed. Guys are still working as hard now or harder, but I think with 14 events, with some guys obviously more there in majors, but you can really give it your all those weeks, and then have time at home to rest and recover and whatnot.

There is nothing sacred about 72 holes. I played three years of college golf at Oklahoma State. They were 54-hole events. We played 36 holes in one day.

I understand the majors historically have 72 holes, but there is nothing sacred about that number. 54 holes in a way can be a bit more pressure in that it's condensed, and you really can't afford to have a bad run of nine holes or so, especially against these fields where you'll find yourself falling too far back.

Yeah, I absolutely love it. I think it's fantastic.

Q. Bryson, you talked about this is team golf, LIV Golf, and with all the vitriol outside, it's created a lot of close connections, a lot of almost a family like around here. On Sunday, I was at Oak Hill, and after you finished your round, I saw you walk all the way back to 18. Can you share what you and Brooks chatted about when he finished?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, look, I'm going to give respect where respect is due. He has won five majors, and he played better than me that week, and what was sad is that really nobody was there to congratulate him after. It's like, man, no matter what tour you're on, no matter what you're doing, that's five majors, and he deserves some respect on that.

I felt it was the right thing to do, and that's why I went back and did it.

Yeah, he's a LIV Golfer and I am, too, and obviously that's a part of it, but for me it was more of mutual respect of man, this guy just won five majors, and I want to see that. It's pretty special, and I want to give him his respect that he is due.

Q. We like to talk about golf but also what folks are doing to live it up off the golf course. You talked about going to the Blink 182 concert, Brooks at the Panthers game and the Miami Heat game, I saw Bubba last night at the Nationals game. For you guys when you go to these other domains, whether it's other sports, other entertainment products, what do you get from that? Are you inspired by those folks and what they can do to master their craft?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: It's definitely inspiring watching anyone play and compete at the highest level.

I think for us or for me, at least I like seeing different models and franchise models for ideas and thoughts of what we could do out here. I also like going and touring the cities and seeing the flair, kind of being able to deliver that back on social media in some capacity.

Look, I went and saw the Declaration of Independence. It was something I've never done and wanted to do for a long time, and that Monday off allowed us to do that. I think being able to have 54 holes, been able to go out and check out the city, get an understanding of what the community is all about is something that I think is important when we're trying to help grow the community or impact the community in a positive way.

So I think all of that's a part of it. Again, it's just fun to go see other sports teams compete. It would have been fun to go to the baseball game last night. We were at a concert. A little different. But again, getting the flair of the city and the flair of the people just allows us to have a better understanding and more respect for where we're at that week.

ANIRBAN LAHIRI: I also think that people tend to forget that we're also normal human beings. We grew up watching sport, listening to music, art for some, and when we get that opportunity to go experience some of those things and kind of fall back in love with how we fell in love with it to start with, it's also -- it brings all of us a sense of exhilaration and joy.

It's just like you or anyone else; you have something you love and you want to go and experience it, and when we get that opportunity, we like to go and do that.

A lot of times people who view us on TV forget that we're human, as well, and apart from that, like Bryson said, watching anyone master their craft is inspirational. It could be anything. Yesterday there were moments where both of us were like 10 year olds, and the whole crowd was going wild, and just being in that environment kind of motivates you. You see how you look up to that person and you think, wow, somebody else might be looking at us the same way. I have a responsibility to my craft.

Yeah, definitely it's inspiring.

CHARLES HOWELL III: Well, every city, place we go to, we always go out and do things. Singapore we went down to the Singapore Gardens by the bay. We drug Bryson down there, and in Australia we went out and played with kangaroos, so yeah, we always go in every city. That's one of the great things, too, about an international or global schedule with LIV is we get to see new parts of the world, get to teach and show my kids that the world does not begin and end on the U.S. borders, that there is something out there, and I think that's important.

From Dubai and all the other places we've been around the world, it's been an incredible experience that LIV has afforded us and offered us to do, and yeah, and hard workers like Jane over here set a lot of things up for us, so there's a lot of planning and effort that goes into it, and we do make sure that see the cities we're in.

Q. Bryson, much has been made of your body transformations of late. There are some that look at you and say eight protein shakes a lot of day of course there's going to be a lot of inflammation. I'm curious to talk about reshape your body once again and did it surprise you?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: A lot of it had to do with my dad's health, too. He was struggling pretty badly, and seeing him go down his rabbit holes of just eating a bunch of bad food and me realizing I could end up in that same situation if I keep eating poorly, and even if I'm trying to be healthy and getting stronger and bigger and whatnot, that's not always necessarily the best thing for the body.

I slowly started to realize that over time when I started getting some head fog, fatigue, a lot of other symptoms, issues, skin problems. I said, this probably isn't that healthy.

So I went to my doctor and referred over a good dietician pretty much, and I got a chef, got a blood panel, tested out what's wrong with my system when I eat these types of foods, found out what was wrong, and I started eating a lot cleaner because of it.

Luckily I had a really good chef that she dials me in each and every week and makes my life really easy on that because the food tastes really good. Most of the time when you take out all the good stuff, you take out the fun and the food. But she's made it taste really good with what I'm compliant with.

Going down and slimming down was just a result of taking inflammation out of my body. It was not like I was trying to, it was just more of all the stuff is going out finally, all the bad stuff. Still taking some time. I've still got some skin stuff that I'm working on, but I'm happy with where I'm at.

Will I continue to get stronger and do I have the same muscle performance? Yeah, I had 200 mile-an-hour ball speed yesterday. Like getting big is not necessarily the answer to hitting it far. I'm still proud of the fact that I have that, but mainly that I'm healthy, as well.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys, so much.

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