Written by
Joy Chakravarty, LIV Golf Correspondent
Jun 06 2024
- 4 MIN
Crushers Bryson Houston preview STORY image

HUMBLE, Texas – Table-topping Crushers GC will aim to continue their dominance this season despite an unexpected change of personnel at LIV Golf Houston this week.

Action resumes for the second half of the season at Golf Club of Houston, but Charles Howell III is sitting out with a stress fracture in his left leg.

Despite the absence of one of the most consistent players through the short history of LIV Golf, Captain Bryson DeChambeau is confident of his team returning to the form that saw them sensationally win Jeddah and Hong Kong earlier this year.

A critical part of that optimism is the form of the Captain himself. DeChambeau was the talk of the PGA Championship in Valhalla last month – not just for finishing second by one shot to eventual champion Xander Schauffele, but also for the style of golf he played over the four days.

DeChambeau insists he did not have his A-game in Louisville, and that still resulted in a 20-under par score. If he found what he was looking for in the following weeks, be prepared for another Bull Run from the Texan superstar – similar to what resulted in 61-58 weekend in Greenbrier last year and a bunch of super low scores.

“It’s funny because I really wasn’t hitting it my best going into that week. Equipment was working fine. Just wasn’t swinging it my best. I figured out some stuff after the PGA, which is great, but too late, obviously, for that,” said DeChambeau on the eve of the championship.

“But I was frustrated, disappointed not to win. I wanted two LIV players to win that PGA Championship in back-to-back years (Brooks Koepka at Oak Hills last year). That would have been cool. But Xander played really well. Hats off to him, obviously, for doing what he did. Shooting 21-under par is pretty special.

“I gave it my all. That’s the thing I’m most proud about… I just threw it all out there. I was proud of the way I played. Happy with the game that I have currently right now, and just excited to continue the good play.”

DeChambeau has drafted in reserve player John Catlin for the week and is confident that the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit leader will fill in the big shoes of Howell.

The 33-year-old Catlin, a resident of Sacramento, CA, is a back-to-back winner on the Asian Tour with triumphs in International Series Macau presented by Wynn, followed by the Saudi Open presented by PIF.

The last two tournaments – Adelaide and Singapore – were not up to the high standards of Crushers as a team, but DeChambeau was not worried about that as he looked forward to the rest of the events leading up to the Team Championship.

“The Crushers are obviously leading right now. We’re doing some pretty good things. Our team isn’t necessarily playing the best the past couple of weeks, but that’s okay. I believe in them 100 percent. I know that golf is not a game where you can just be on the top all the time,” said DeChambeau.

“You're going to have ebbs and flows. I’m not worried about it. I’m excited for the next six events. I personally want to get the job done once, and we all do. We’re all pushing for it. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.

“I’m proud of the guys for how they’ve shown themselves this year after winning last year, being able to be atop the leaderboard and continue to push and not just say, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re good enough’.

“No, they’re hard workers, and I’m proud of them for that, and they continue to fight. We will see where the season ends up, but I’ve got a lot of faith in my team.”