Speaking at the press conference prior to the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event at the Centurion Club, Dustin Johnson has officially announced his resignation from the PGA Tour.
“It’s hard to say what the outcome will be, but at the moment I am resigning my membership from the Tour. I will play here (LIV Golf Invitational Series), at the moment. I can’t answer for the Majors but hopefully they will let us play. Obviously I am exempt. from playing in the Majors and I plan to play until I hear otherwise.”
The American addressed the persistent threat that loyalty to the Saudi-backed chain threatens future participation in the Ryder Cup. “Hopefully all things are subject to change,” he said. “I agree with what Graeme (McDowell) has said and I hope it changes at some point and hopefully we can share.”
The former No.1 player in the world added, “If it wasn’t, that’s another thing I had to think long and hard about, and in the end I decided to do it, and like I said, I’m excited about it. Obviously the Ryder Cup is incredible and something It definitely means a lot to me and something I’m proud to say I played and represented my country. I hope to get a chance to do it again but I don’t set the rules.” The 37-year-old insisted his decision was “what is best for me and my family”.
The two-time leading champion was a surprise in the field having previously joined the PGA Tour in February. In a statement, the American said, “Over the past several months, there has been a great deal of speculation about an alternative tour; much of it seems implied and my future in professional golf. I feel it is now time to get rid of that speculation. I am fully committed to the PGA Tour.” .
Johnson’s sudden resignation came on the heels of the resignations of Kevin Na, Sergio Garcia and South African trio Louis Oosthuizen, Charles Schwarzl and Branden Grace.
Since the start of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, the PGA Tour has remained consistent. They have consistently told players that they will face a penalty (either suspended for life) if they participate. Several players submitted official requests for release to participate in the raising of the curtain on the LIV series, however, these requests were refused.
The memo sent to players stated that granting the release “would significantly and unreasonably harm the PGA Tour and Tour sponsors” before asserting that “your participation in the Event is not authorized by the regulations.”
Johnson’s resignation would bring the known total to six players on the PGA Tour who, as a direct result, would no longer be subject to tour sanction. However, it casts doubt on their future participation in the major tournaments and the Ryder Cup/Presidents’ Cup.