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As it turns out, Dustin Johnson had quite a few reasons to commit to playing in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event on June 9 in London — $125 million of them.
That’s the figure the former world No. 1 was reportedly paid by the Saudi Arabian-backed upstart league to join, per The Telegraph. That number is well in line with what Jack Nicklaus was offered to head up the league. Nicklaus declined an offer in excess of $100 million, a role that eventually went to Greg Norman.
Johnson, 37, was the most notable and accomplished of the 42-player list that LIV Golf announced Tuesday for the first event at Centurion Club. Johnson, the world No. 13, is the highest ranking player to join, followed by Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Na. Johnson is a two-time Major winner (2016 U.S. Open, 2020 Masters) and has 24 career wins on tour, third among active tour members (Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson)
Johnson’s decision to join has been costly, as RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) and UPS have both ended their relationships with him.
“As a result of the decisions made by professional golfers Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell to play the LIV Golf Invitational Series opener, RBC is terminating its sponsorship agreement with both players,” RBC told ESPN. “We wish them well in their future endeavors.”
PGA TOUR COMMISH TELLS AGENTS OF PLAYERS THEY CAN’T PLAY ON BOTH PGA TOUR, LIV GOLF INVITATIONAL SERIES
Johnson, as well as the other PGA Tour players who committed to the LIV Golf event, also could be subject to disciplinary action from the tour. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan told agents of players Wednesday that players wouldn’t be allowed to play on both circuits.
“As communicated to our entire membership on May 10, PGA Tour members have not been authorized to participate in the Saudi Golf League’s London event, under PGA Tour Tournament Regulations,” the PGA Tour said in a statement. “Members who violate the Tournament Regulations are subject to disciplinary action.”
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He can still play in the Masters and both Opens. Im sure he’s just fine with the $125M and the tour winnings along with new sponsors.