Major champions Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen resign from PGA Tour, join LIV Golf
from Victor Barbosa, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Two more big names in men’s golf announced their resignation from the PGA Tour on Tuesday morning, and their intentions to join the controversial LIV Golf series, which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Dustin Johnson has announced his resignation from the PGA Tour. He plans to play only LIV golf events and majors.
He's now ineligible to play in the Ryder and Presidents Cups. pic.twitter.com/7WI0ITbPEk
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 7, 2022
Louis Oosthuizen also said he was also giving up his PGA Tour membership. "It was probably going to be my last year on Tour. I always said when I get to 40, I want to do something else. Everyone knows I love being on the farm. So I was almost done. Then along came this."
— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) June 7, 2022
“Obviously at this time it’s hard to speak on what the consequences will be, but for right now I resigned my membership from the tour,” Johnson said at a news conference ahead of LIV’s first event this week in London, per The Athletic. “I’m going to play here for now and that’s the plan. What the consequences are going to be, obviously I can’t comment on how the tour is going to handle (it).”
Johnson captured the 2016 U.S. Open and the 2020 Masters and said he expects to play at the U.S. Open, which begins on June 16 in Brookline, Ma. The 37-year-old earned the world’s No. 1 ranking in February 2017 and held onto the spot for 64 straight weeks, and including his subsequent returns to the top, has been at No. 1 for a total of over 130 weeks.
“Hopefully at some point it will change and we’ll be able to participate but if it doesn’t, it was another thing that I really had to think long and hard about and ultimately I decided to come do this and play out here,” Johnson said of his ineligibility at the Ryder Cup. “Obviously the Ryder Cup is unbelievable and it’s something that’s definitely meant a lot to me and (I’m) proud to say that I’ve played and represented my country. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that again but I don’t make the rules.”
Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson was one of the earlier golf pros to make headlines for considering the jump from the PGA Tour to the LIV Golf Series and remains arguably the biggest name to do so. In an infamous interview in November 2021, the lefty told ESPN:
“They killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
There have been plenty of PGA Tour golfers who have spoken out against the league, but in addition to Monday’s confirmation that Mickelson will compete with it, now Johnson and Oosthuizen are joining him. Former two-time major champion Greg Norman — who is now the CEO of the LIV Golf Series — told ESPN earlier this year that “at least 30 percent of the top 50 players in the world” were committed to playing in the new league before Mickelson’s comments.
Largely considered one of the greatest men’s golfers of all time, Jack Nicklaus said in May that the Saudi-backed league offered him “something in excess of $100 million” to be the face of the tour, but he turned them down twice. It was reported on Monday that Tiger Woods recently also recently turned down a high-price offer to join the league.
Other notable names to join Johnson, Oosthuizen and Mickelson in the LIV Golf Series include Kevin Na, Sergio Garcia, Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel.