LOS ANGELES (AP) — A proposed Saudi-financed rival golf league took an enormous hit Sunday morning when Dustin Johnson mentioned he was “fully committed” to the PGA Tour.
Johnson added his identify to a rising checklist of golf’s high gamers who’ve mentioned they don’t seem to be all in favour of taking assured riches from the “Super Golf League” that Greg Norman and his LIV Golf Investments are behind.
Each of the high eight gamers in the world who’ve been requested now have indicated they don’t plan to enroll in the Saudi-backed league. That doesn’t embrace a few of golf’s different marquee gamers who’ve mentioned they don’t seem to be , resembling Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth.
Johnson, a two-time main champion who has spent extra time at No. 1 in the world than any of the present gamers — he now could be at No. 6 — had stored his intentions quiet over the previous few months, resulting in hypothesis he would be a part of.
“I feel it is now time to put such speculation to rest. I am fully committed to the PGA Tour,” he mentioned. “I’m grateful for the alternative to play on the finest tour in the world and for all it has supplied me and my household.”
Like some other players, Johnson said there are areas where the PGA Tour can “improve and evolve.”
Rory McIlroy, Koepka and world No. 1 Jon Rahm were among the first to reject a rival tour at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago, and they doubled down on their support this week at the Genesis Invitational, where the chatter was loud about the proposed league getting close to an announcement.
It picked up steam over the last two weeks because of Phil Mickelson, who is thought to be the lead player of a new league but has made comments that make it unclear what the six-time major champion actually is pursuing.
Mickelson accused the PGA Tour of “obnoxious greed” in an interview with Golf Digest while he was at the Saudi International for a seven-figure appearance fee.
And then Alan Shipnuck, who is writing a biography on Mickelson due out this spring, published an excerpt based on a November phone interview in which Mickelson called the Saudis “scary” and referred to the PGA Tour as a “dictatorship.”
Mickelson mentioned three gamers paid attorneys to jot down the working settlement for a brand new league. He additionally mentioned he did not care if the new league succeeded, so long as it gave gamers extra leverage in dealing with the PGA Tour.
Some particulars have been talked about by brokers who’ve seen the proposal, resembling a schedule that features as many as 10 occasions in the U.S., with the new league concentrating on programs owned by former President Donald Trump.
British media has reported with out figuring out sources that Bryson DeChambeau was supplied $130 to hitch (DeChambeau took to social media to say solely it was “wrong”) and Ian Poulter was supplied $30 million.
Johnson was requested at the Saudi International, the place he was the defending champion, whether or not he was supplied one thing comparable.
“No, not similar,” Johnson mentioned to laughter, indicating it was far higher.
McIlroy, the first to reject a brand new league by saying he needed to be on “the right side of history,” mentioned this week it sounded as if the roster for a brand new league could be a “pre-Champions Tour” of gamers in the twilight of their careers.
DeChambeau could be the solely main champion beneath 30 considering becoming a member of the rival league. He has not made a public assertion of assist for both facet.
Johnson’s announcement ends per week of high gamers making it clear the place they stood. McIlroy referred to it as the “not so Super league.” Rahm mentioned his “fealty” is to the PGA Tour and “I think the best legacy I can accomplish will be with the PGA Tour.”
Viktor Hovland mentioned earlier this week his want was to play on the PGA Tour, and all that would change his thoughts could be if the finest gamers in the world went to the new league.
The 24-year-old from Norway, who’s No. 4 in the world, did not see that occuring at the second.
“It appeared numerous good gamers are voicing their assist for the PGA Tour, in order that’s definitely going to be a tall job for different leagues if the finest gamers do not need to go,” Hovland said.
Xander Schauffele, the No. 7 player in the world, fell in line with that thinking in an interview Saturday afternoon when he said, “For me, I want to be on the best tour possible and compete against the best players in the world.”
He was at the Saudi International, which is not part of the proposed league, but was not inclined to sign up with Norman’s group.
Schauffele said he hopes the threat of a new league can lead to the PGA Tour improving its product and perhaps making concessions on such items as media rights.
“At the end of the day, all I want is to be part of the best product possible,” he said.
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