Dustin Johnson adds to those pledging loyalty to PGA TOUR
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Written by Ben Everill @BEverillPGATOUR
Dustin Johnson’s best shots on the PGA TOUR
LOS ANGELES – Former FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson became the latest to declare his loyalty to the PGA TOUR amidst talk of a rival league backed by the Saudi Arabian government.
The 24-time PGA TOUR winner released a statement via social media on Sunday saying he had no intention of joining the rumored competition.
“Over the past several months, there has been a great deal of speculation about an alternative tour; much of which seems to have included me and my future in professional golf. I feel it is now time to put such speculation to rest. I am fully-committed to the PGA TOUR," Johnson said via statement.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to play on the best tour in the world and for all it has provided me and my family. While there will always be areas where our TOUR can improve and evolve, I am thankful for our leadership and the many sponsors who make the PGA TOUR golf’s premier tour.”
The two-time major winner isn’t alone in declaring his allegiance with other big names speaking out during The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club this week. Tournament host Tiger Woods, not playing as he recovers from a car accident, was also quick to show support.
“I’ve decided for myself that I’m supporting the PGA TOUR, that’s where my legacy is,” Woods said.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have won 82 events on this TOUR and 15 major championships and been a part of the World Golf Championships, the start of them and the end of them. So, I have an allegiance to the PGA TOUR.”
Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa are amongst those with their sights set chasing that legacy as well.
“I have a lot of things I’m focused on accomplishing out here and I'll be the first to say that, yeah, there's plenty of things that I would love to see improve with the PGA TOUR, but that's a part of the process,” 14-time TOUR winner Thomas said.
“I’m very, very content with what's going on. The reason I play golf is to create a legacy and win as many times as I can on the PGA TOUR.”
Morikawa, already a two-time major winner, echoed.
“My entire life I’ve thought about the PGA TOUR. I’ve thought about playing against Tiger, beating his records, something that might not even be breakable, but I've never had another thought of what’s out there, right?” he said.
“I’ve never thought about anything else; it’s always been the PGA TOUR… right now, you look at the best players that I see and they're all sticking with the PGA TOUR and that’s where I kind of stay and that’s where I belong. I’m very happy to be here.”
Current world No. 1 and defending US Open champion Jon Rahm was also forthright with his opinion on a rival tour.
“This is my official, my one and only time I’ll talk about this where I am officially declaring, let’s say, my fealty to the PGA TOUR. I'm a PAC (Player Advisory Council) member and I have a lot of belief in Jay Monahan and the product that they're going to give us in the future,” Rahm said.
“There has been a lot of talk and speculation on the Saudi League. It’s just not something I believe is the best for me and my future in golf, and I think the best legacy I can accomplish will be with the PGA TOUR.
“I’ve said it many times in press conferences before, I don’t do this for the money, which to me is the only appeal to go over there. They throw numbers at you and that’s supposed to impress people. I’m in this game for the love of golf and the love of the game and to become a champion, right?
“I grew up watching many great players play great events such as this one and there's history and legacy to those things. That’s something that has a lot of appeal to me.”
Two-time FedExCup winner and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy has long been in the PGA TOUR corner. While no one has officially come out to say they’ll be part of the new league, the majority of those rumored to be heading there have already seen their 40th birthday.
“Certainly, for the younger guys it just seems a massive risk. I can maybe make sense of it for the guys that are getting to the latter stages of their career, for sure,” McIlroy said.
“I don’t think that’s what a rival golf league is really going to want, is it? They don’t want some sort of league that’s like a pre-Champions Tour.
“I understand the financial part of it for guys that are later on in their career. You look at the people that have already said no; Rahm, No. 1 in the world, Collin Morikawa, myself… you've got the top players in the world saying no, so that has to tell you something.”