Written by
Mike McAllister
Jan 25 2024
- 8 min
Bryson and Crushers side

Bryson DeChambeau is almost ready to move into his new Texas home being constructed in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Grapevine. He just needs to check the last remaining items on the punch list.

Work on the house first began in 2020.

“People don’t think I’m patient,” DeChambeau said. “There’s a reason I’m patient in some areas and others not so much.”

The house is on a 2-1/2 acre lot – and yes, there’s a significant golf feature. It’s a 60-yard hole that allows the Crushers GC captain to work on his short game. Meanwhile, the practice area is big enough that DeChambeau can climb up to his rooftop and hit shots to the designated landing zone.

“Wasn’t just a stock spec home,” he said. “It takes a while to get things done correctly.”

It’s his forever home that seems to have taken that long. Luckily, constructing a LIV Golf champion took considerably less time.

DeChambeau joined LIV Golf in Portland for its second event during the inaugural 2022 Invitational season, taking the reins as Crushers captain. At the next event in Bedminster, he added veteran pros Paul Casey and Charles Howell III to the lineup. Then in the fourth event in Boston, he added another veteran, Anirban Lahiri.

With the lineup set, the Crushers became immediate contenders. In the final four regular-season events in 2022, they finished on the podium three times (two seconds, one third). But they couldn’t sustain that form into the Team Championship, losing on the second day of match play and failing to reach the top four.

The Crushers started last season on a high note, winning the opening tournament in Mayakoba on the strength of Howell’s individual title. That was the first of six podium results in the regular season, and they added a second team title in Chicago thanks to DeChambeau’s second individual win.

Then, of course, everything came together at the Team Championship in October, as the Crushers became LIV Golf’s first full-season team champions, beating RangeGoats GC, Torque GC and defending champs 4Aces GC on the final day.

Overall, the DeChambeau-Casey-Howell-Lahiri lineup has been together for 18 tournaments and has 10 podium finishes (3 wins, 4 seconds, 3 thirds). Only the 4Aces have more podium finishes (12) in the first two years, and most of those came during the beta-season of 2022 when various team rosters were still under construction.

“We said this from the outset last year – we’re a really well-balanced team,” Lahiri explained. “Whether it’s easy courses, tough courses, whatever the conditions, whatever the grass is, we are really well-balanced.

“Even the events that we didn’t win, and we didn’t play our best, we were still up there. If we weren’t on the podium, we were almost never outside the top five or six. That is the consistency and the kind of energy we’ve brought as a team.”

The scary news, at least for the rest of the league, is that the Crushers still have room to improve as the 2024 opener looms next week in Mayakoba.

DeChambeau, for instance, didn’t really find his footing until last summer. He took second in Andalucía, then changed drivers the week of Greenbrier. Flush with confidence off the tee thanks to improved accuracy, he shot an amazing 61-58 on the weekend en route to his first individual title. He won a second individual title in Chicago.

“The golf he played the last half of the year was incredible,” Howell said. “… The way that Bryson finished the season and the way that he’s matured as a player and understand what he needs to do and he needs to work on and things like that, I think he’s going start off this season a bit better than he did last year.”

Indeed. DeChambeau expects to add a 3-wood to his bag that could perform the same way as his driver. Provided everything else stays the same, imagine what he could do with a full season at that level.

Plus, the noise he makes likely won’t be limited to LIV Golf starts. DeChambeau is looking for his second major title, having won the 2020 U.S. Open. This year’s U.S. Open is at Pinehurst – a course he loves.

“I really feel like I could contend in the majors this year,” DeChambeau said. “Last year I didn't feel like I had a chance with the equipment that I had. This year, it's a different story considering the way I finished off and what I've been experiencing in my offseason with the equipment. I feel like a kid again.”

Meanwhile, Casey expects to return to his 2022 form, which saw him finish top-6 in three of his first five LIV Golf starts.

Last season, he started off with a fourth place behind Howell at Mayakoba. But then injuries derailed his play. He finished in the points just twice in the remaining 13 regular-season events and failed to produce a top-10 result the rest of the way.

A holiday vacation with his family to Finland helped clear Casey’s mind and heal his body. It was his first real offseason vacation in 20 years, and he returned to practice ready to play and hungry to contribute.

“I’m looking for an injury-free 2024,” Casey said. “My first year at LIV in 2022, I played some really good golf, and then in 2023 it just kind of fell apart. Looking to be get back to my usual kind of golf – and maybe even better than that.”

So, a full season of peak DeChambeau. A healthy Casey. Continued consistency from Howell and Lahiri. Defending the Team Championship won’t be easy – and other teams have improved their rosters considerably – but the Crushers won’t settle for anything less.

“I feel like people have a respect for us now,” DeChambeau said. “I think they see us a formidable force, and when we get it going – well, watch out for the Crushers.”

In the meantime, he’ll need to find time to move into his new home this year. Maybe shop for furnishings, too. Winning a few golf tournaments should certainly help fill out the trophy case.

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