The list of players for the first LIV Golf Invitational is out, and Dustin Johnson is one of the surprises. Well, that didn't work out. A couple of months after he said he wouldn't leave the PGA to play in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, Dustin Johnson has completely changed his mind.
The list of players who will go against the wishes of the PGA Tour and instead play in the first LIV Golf Invitational event next week in London has finally been released. The competitors now include a group of players who were expected to take the big money prizes. Everyone expected Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Louis Oosthuizen to be there, and they are.
Talor Gooch and Dustin Johnson are on the list is a surprise.
Even though Phil Mickelson has been at the centre of the conversation since the beginning, he is not on the list. Some people may have thought Phil skipped the PGA Championship because he knew he would be playing in London the following week. However, that's not the case, at least not yet.
It's still not clear how many more people will join LIV Golf events in the future. Now that Dustin Johnson has pulled the rabbit out of the hat, will more big names leave the PGA Tour?
Dustin Johnson Changes His Mind About Liv Golf
Things weren't looking good for LIV Golf during the week of the Genesis Invitational in February. Phil Mickelson was under a lot of scrutiny, Bryson DeChambeau had tweeted that he wouldn't be joining the rival tour, and other young stars of the game had also publicly committed to the PGA.
In the same week, Dustin Johnson made a public statement that said he had nothing to do with LIV Golf. A few months later, DJ seems to have changed his mind in a tranquil and sneaky way. Now, the question is what the PGA Tour will do. Have PGA tournaments seen the last of Dustin Johnson?
A few weeks ago, when Johnson struggled at the PGA Championship and missed the cut, this question was unthinkable. A few weeks ago, players wanted to play in the first LIV Golf event, but the PGA turned down their requests for waivers. There have been rumours that people who don't follow the PGA's rules will be punished, but it's unclear how much.
All of this is likely to go on for a long time, but now those involved with the PGA Tour are worried that if Dustin Johnson can change his mind about public comments he made just a few months ago, then so can anyone else.
No matter what happens, getting a commitment from former World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is a big win for LIV Golf, a league that Rory McIlroy said in February was “dead in the water.”
Dustin Johnson's Sponsor Said Bad Things About Him as He Signed Up for the Liv Golf Invitational
Dustin Johnson will play in the first event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, held at the Centurion Club in the UK. Saudi Arabia is putting on the occasion. The former men's world number one will be the main attraction at the first event of the new competition from June 9th to 11th. This is only four months after he signed up for the PGA Tour.
Johnson, who is currently ranked 13th globally, is the biggest name to say he will participate so far. He risks getting in trouble with the PGA, which has not yet permitted members to play. David Winkle, the agent of the 37-year-old American, said in a statement, “Dustin has been thinking about the chance on and off for the past few years.”
‘In the end, he decided it was best for him and his family to go for it. Dustin has never had a problem with the PGA Tour and is thankful for all it has given him, but in the end, he thought this was too good to pass up.
The winner of the Centurion Club will get UK£3 million (US$3.77 million) out of a total prize fund of UK£20 million (US$25.1 million). Johnson will be competing alongside Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Kevin Na, and Martin Kaymer.
Johnson was supposed to play in the Canadian Open, which starts the same week, but he will now play in the first of eight new LIV Series events held around the world from June to October.
His choice goes against what the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of his sponsors and a partner in the Canadian Open, wants to do.