Dustin Johnson mocks PGA Tour and joins Saudi-sponsored series

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) – Three months after announcing his “full commitment” to the PGA Tour, Dustin Johnson is one of 42 players at the LIV Golf Invitational next week, sponsoring $ 25 million sponsored by Saudi. the treasury of the Arabian state.

Phil Mickelson disappeared from the list released Tuesday night. It was his destructive remarks in February that prompted Johnson and other top players to say stay on the PGA Tour.

The LIV Golf Invitational will take place June 9-11 at the Centurion Club outside London. The PGA tour and the European tour have denied the release of the players, meaning they are at risk of penalties – possibly losing membership – in the competition.

“Dustin has been thinking about this opportunity for the past few years. In the end, he thought it was a good idea for him and his family to do this,” David Winkler, Johnson’s manager at Hambric Sports, told The Associated Press in a text message.

“Dustin has never had a problem with the PGA Tour and he is grateful for everything he has given him, but in the end he saw that it was compelling to quit.”

This was a change from his comments in February when Johnson made a statement of commitment to the PGA Tour and said “thank you for playing the best tour in the world and for all you have given me and my family.”

Johnson, whose last victory was Saudi International in 2021, is No. 13th in the world, the highest player in the field. He was holding No. 1 in the world longer than any other player since Tiger Woods.

Greg Norman, in his second attempt to create another PGA Tour, pressured Johnson. What needs to be confirmed is the amount of money Johnson is being paid to join Saudi Arabia.

The other players in the 48-man court were not surprising; Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia showed up for the play, along with Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen.

The garden has four of the top 50 in the world and 16 of the top 100. LIV Golf said six more venues would be filled with invitations to and from this week’s Asian Tour’s International Series in England.

That means Mickelson, who has not played for Saudi International since early February, could remain in the field.

“The free agency has come to golf,” said Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf. “This is an opportunity to start a team that will change history by bringing a new and open competition to the games we all love.”

The American athletes chasing the Saudi economy are Talor Gooch, who won his first PGA Tour event last fall at the RSM Classic; three-time winner Hudson Swafford; and Kevin Na. The field has 13 players with full PGA Tour membership this year.

The Norman team also followed the amateur, adding US Amateur champions James Piot and David Puig, who are competing against Arizona State in the NCAA Championship this week. He is also playing for 2019 US Amateur champion Andy Ogletree, who is not responsible for any of the trips.

Johnson is expected to play in the RBC Canadian Open next week, as he has a partnership with a Canadian bank as one of his ambassadors. Even if he leaves his contract, the money he can take from the Saudi League could be very expensive.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is the main source of funding for LIV Golf. Norman’s vision is to have 54 holes and gun shots – each team starts at the same time on different holes – with $ 20 million in an individual bag and $ 5 million per team. The winner receives $ 4 million, while the runner-up receives $ 120,000.

The 11 players on the list did not participate in the US Open, which will take place one week after the LIV Golf Invitational at The Country Club outside Boston.


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