DUSTIN JOHNSON announced he has QUIT the PGA Tour to go all-in with Saudi Arabia-backed Rebel LIV series.
Johnson and six-time Major winner Phil Mickelson are the two overseas star names attending the opening event at the Centurion Club near St Albans this week.
Former World No. 1 Dustin Johnson has left the PGA Tour[/caption]
Johnson will pocket more than $100 million for his participation[/caption]
DJ recently got married and cites family as one of the reasons for the move[/caption]
And the former US Open and Masters champion made no apologies for his decision to leave the PGA and Ryder Cup.
Johnson, who pledged $125 million to sign up, said, “I have canceled my membership with the PGA. I will play here now.
“That’s the plan and I can’t comment on what the consequences will be.
“It was a big decision that I had to think long and hard about.
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“In the end we made the decision.
“I’m free for the majors and plan on playing them unless I hear otherwise.
“The Ryder Cup means a lot to me and I’m proud to say that I represented my country.
“Hopefully I get a chance to do that again, but I don’t make the rules.”
When asked if he chose money — each LIV event has a prize pool of at least $32 million — or land, Johnson added, “I chose what was best for me and my family.”
Johnson and his wife Paulina recently wed in a lavish Tennessee wedding.
“I HAVE CANCELED MY PGA MEMBERSHIP”
The American sat next to Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and South African Louis Oosthuizen.
All three were questioned about their willingness to take part in the Saudi Arabia-backed tour after the regime’s alleged human rights abuses, including the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
McDowell, who said he has not yet left the PGA Tour and does not want to get involved in a legal battle, admitted: “The Ryder Cup is something that I considered long and hard before making my decision.
“It would be a shame if the guys who are here and have done a lot for the Ryder Cup weren’t invited back.”
On his decision to take the Saudi shilling, the Ulster man added: “The financial side of sport has always weighed on me – it’s a business.
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“It was incredibly polarizing. We all agree that the situation in Khashoggi was reprehensible. Nobody will dispute this fact.
“But we’re all golfers, not politicians – and hopefully the game can be a force for good.”
When asked about Mickelson’s attendance after Lefty, 51, called the Saudis a “creepy m***********,” Johnson added: “Phil is a huge icon in the game of golf.
“I don’t agree with what he said and he has apologized for that but he will turn heads and is a great ambassador for the game and I’m glad he’s a part of it.”
DJ and wife Paulina live in a gorgeous Florida mansion that they share with boys River and Tatum.
It has also been reported that Spaniard Sergio Garcia has resigned from his PGA membership.
Johnson is a two-time Major winner[/caption]
He enjoys a lavish lifestyle in Florida with his wife, Paulina Gretzky[/caption]
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5506571/dustin-johnson-quits-pga-saudi-golf/ “The best for me and my family” – Dustin Johnson sensationally leaves the PGA Tour to join the Saudi-backed LIV series