Sunday December 3, 2023

Could Dustin Johnson’s PGA Snub Shift Golf’s Power Balance?

  • Johnson and other departing golfers are not eligible to play on Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup teams.
  • They are still eligible for the major championships.
Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
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Dustin Johnson has cast his lot with the LIV Golf Invitational Series — and he’s helping set some pretty big precedents for participation.

On Tuesday, Johnson officially resigned from the PGA Tour ahead of the Saudi-backed tournament’s premiere event in London this weekend.

After signing with LIV Golf last week for a reported $125 million, Johnson’s Tour resignation — and any impending exits for other golfers who follow suit — could have major ramifications for the sport’s balance of power.

  • The departing golfers are ineligible to play on the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams; Johnson said he hopes the rules change in the future.
  • But the LIV golfers’ lack of PGA membership would not bar them from majors.
  • There will be $225M in prize money available for the entire LIV season, including $25M for each of the seven regular-season events and $4M for winning.
  • The PGA Tour’s largest purse is the Players Championships’ $20M and $3.6M for a win.

LIV will also take earning pressure off individuals, as captains will draft a new squad for each event — Johnson was named captain of the 4 Aces team for this weekend.

Phil Mickelson — LIV’s biggest name alongside Johnson and another team captain — is reportedly being paid around $200 million to join the league.

Several high-profile golfers, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, have spurned LIV’s invitation — but if it’s successful, the series’ money and novel format will surely tempt others to abandon the Tour.

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