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Dustin Johnson resigns PGA Tour membership to join LIV

May 20, 2022; Tulsa, OK, USA;  Dustin Johnson plays his shot from the 13th tee during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Johnson resigned his PGA Tour membership to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series in time for the debut event of the new tour on Thursday.

“Ultimately, I decided to come and do this,” Johnson said Tuesday during a press conference in London at Centurion Club. “I’m excited about this. Obviously the Ryder Cup is unbelievable and something that has meant a lot to me. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that again, but I don’t make the rules.”

Johnson remains in the field for the U.S. Open next week and said he intends to play in majors along with all eight scheduled LIV events. Johnson holds exemptions for the PGA Championship, Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship.

“For right now, I’ve resigned my membership on the Tour and I’m going to play (LIV) for now,” he said. “That’s the plan.”

A tour member since 2008, Johnson has earned $74 million with 24 career victories. With 20 wins and 15 seasons on tour, Johnson would’ve become a lifetime member of the PGA Tour. He hasn’t won on tour since 2020.

Membership on the PGA Tour prevents golfers from playing in the new Saudi-backed golf league, which comes with a new format and immense financial resources.

Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia of Spain and Kevin Na are among the PGA Tour members who bowed out of the mainstream circuit for huge paydays to play with LIV. Johnson said he had to think “long and hard” about the ramifications of his decision, which include being ineligible for the Ryder Cup under current rules. Tiger Woods reportedly turned down a “massive” offer to play in the LIV, Golf Channel reported.

“I chose what is best for me and my family,” Johnson said.

Na, Garcia and South Africans Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace have reportedly resigned from the PGA Tour in joining LIV.

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland did not forfeit membership on the PGA Tour, he said Tuesday in the same press conference alongside Johnson.

–Field Level Media