Dustin Johnson Joins Inaugural LIV Golf Tournament; Phil Mickelson Excluded From 42-Man List

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The Saudi-backed Inaugural LIV Golf Tournament unveiled its list of 42 participants on Tuesday — set to compete at the upcoming event in London.

Along those names appeared, to the surprise of many, two-time major champion Dustin Johnson. Johnson was expected to forgo the LIV tourney after comments made at the PGA Championship, hinting that he’ll skip the event.

Tuesday’s announcement proved he had different plans.

“I think golf is in a good spot, and I think what they’re doing … could potentially be good for the game of golf. I’m excited to see what happens here in a few weeks,” Johnson said at the Championship, adding that he’ll be watching from home.

Johnson’s agent issued a response, via New York Post’s Brian Wacker.

“Dustin has been contemplating the opportunity off-and-on for the past couple of years. Ultimately, he decided it was in his and his family’s best interest to pursue it,” the statement read. “Dustin has never had any issue with the PGA TOUR and is grateful for all it has given him, but in the end, felt this was too compelling to pass up.”

Flaunting a $25 million purse, the inaugural 54-hole golfing spectacle drew in 16 of the world’s top 100 golf players, including six former major champions as relayed by Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig.

Initial reactions to Johnson’s inclusion sparked comments over ditching the PGA Championship (which may incur a penalty) and whether Johnson hid his interest to avoid a similar backlash directed at the outspoken Phil Mickelson.

Lefty was the most notable omission from the list. His past strongly worded comments on the Saudis’ backing incited debate among circles of the golf community, which Johnson potentially had in mind in his PGA interview.

In Tuesday’s announcement, only 42 players were announced, leaving potential for Mickelson to still join the 48-man list.

The remaining six spots will be assigned to victors of this week’s International Series event in London, notes Harig.

List of 42/48 LIV players:

Oliver Bekker, South Africa
Richard Bland, England
Laurie Canter, England
Ratchanon Chantananuwat (amateur), Thailand
Hennie Du Plessis, South Africa
Oliver Fisher, England
Sergio Garcia, Spain
Talor Gooch, USA
Branden Grace, South Africa
Justin Harding, South Africa
Sam Horsfield, England
Dustin Johnson, USA
Matt Jones, Australia
Sadom Kaewkanjana, Thailand
Martin Kaymer, Germany
Phachara Khongwatmai, Thailand
Sihwan Kim, USA
Ryosuke Kinoshita, Japan
Chase Koepka, USA
Jinichiro Kozuma, Japan
Pablo Larrazabal, Spain
Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland
Jediah Morgan, Australia
Kevin Na, USA
Shaun Norris, South Africa
Andy Ogletree, USA
Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa
Wade Ormsby, Australia
Adrian Otaegui, Spain
Turk Pettit, USA
James Piot (amateur), USA
Ian Poulter, England
David Puig (amateur), Spain
JC Ritchie, South Africa
Charl Schwartzel, South Africa
Hudson Swafford, USA
Hideto Tanihara, Japan
Peter Uihlein, USA
Scott Vincent, Zimbabwe
Lee Westwood, England
Bernd Wiesberger, Austria
Blake Windred, Australia

Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.


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    • Agreed. Not like it is a team sport with year long rankings (yeah yeah fedex cup at the end). But why not let these guys play whatever tournament they want. If they value fedex cup points they will choose more pga tour events. If they do not care about those, they will pick whatever fits their schedule/vacation plans. Curious to see though, do they have a cable partner? Where/How do we watch? Also what will time zone differences be like, if these are on at 3am local time they might struggle

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