Of the 42 players announced for Tuesday’s Saudi Golf League inaugural event, the biggest surprise of the field was undoubtedly superstar Dustin Johnson. The LIV Golf Invitational Series is set to hold its first tournament at the Centurion Club outside London June 9-11, which also coincides with the PGA Tour’s RBC Canadian Open.
While many golf fans were left baffled by Johnson’s decision to join the breakaway tour, perhaps the recent contractual agreement between the two parties will shed some light on the matter.
According to a report by The telegraph in London, LIV Golf paid Johnson “about” $125 million to join their series of eight events. Somewhere in this moment, Paulina is smiling ear to ear as she looks at her checking account.
Due to Johnson’s commitment to the LIV Golf Invitational Series, the two-time winner (along with Graeme McDowell) lost his sponsorship with RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) on Wednesday.
“We were recently informed that Dustin Johnson has made the decision to play Game 1 of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. DJ has been a valued member of the RBC team since 2018. While we are extremely disappointed with his decision, we wish him well.
RBC signed Johnson to a sponsorship deal in 2018 when he was the No. 1 ranked player in the world.
“RBC is a proud partner of the PGA Tour. Our partnership is anchored in two world-class golf tournaments, the RBC Heritage and the RBC Canadian Open,” the bank said in a statement. “The PGA Tour has been clear on its intentions under its tournament rules if a golfer chooses to play in an off-tour tournament, including the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Johnson, winner of the 2016 US Open and 2020 Masters, previously pledged his commitment to the PGA Tour in a statement released in February.
“I think now is the time to put that speculation to rest. I am fully committed to the PGA Tour. I am grateful for the opportunity to play on the best tour in the world and for all that it has given me. brought to me and my family.
Funny how $125 million can change your mind so quickly, isn’t it?
With Johnson now officially a member of the LIV Golf Series, the PGA Tour will likely be hit with its own punishment in the weeks to come. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has warned players of potential suspensions or even permanent bans from participating in Saudi-backed events.
In addition to Johnson, other PGA Tour notables such as Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Kevin Na, Talor Gooch, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood were also announced as part of LIV’s premier event.
The 2022 US Open is also fast approaching, with the tournament set to take place June 16-19 at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. The United States Golf Association (USGA) will be forced to make a quick decision on whether or not those who participate in LIV’s inaugural tournament can participate in the third major championship of the year.
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