LIV Golf will hold its first event from June 9-11 in London. On Tuesday, we got a list of players in the field. That list included Johnson.
Important to remember: Just because a player is competing in the first event doesn’t mean he’ll become a member. (And conversely, just because a player isn’t competing doesn’t mean he still can’t join.) All will be subject to a still-undetermined penalty from PGA/DP World tours.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) June 1, 2022
Phil Mickelson not being on the list is notable. Despite his outspoken interest in LIV Golf, his hiatus from competitive golf will continue for at least one more week (though he could claim one of six presently unclaimed spots). Sergio Garcia is certainly a notable name but his inclusion is not surprising, given his comments. Johnson, however, is not a name we were expecting, for multiple reasons.
One, in addition to Johnson’s previous statement, the PGA Tour has said that it will not let its members play in the LIV Golf events. Johnson isn’t the only big name included. But most of the other big names are older players who are close to (if not already at) the end of their primes. Johnson is still one of the best players in the world.
Finally, the PGA Tour event that week is the RBC Canadian Open — an event that is advertising Johnson in the field.
This was posted yesterday on the RBC Canadian Open’s Instagram page.
How quickly things can change 😕. pic.twitter.com/D4WRU6nxfm
— Lukas Weese (@Weesesports) June 1, 2022
Johnson was, by far, the most heavily discussed player in the field. His inclusion drew a variety of reactions from golf fans.
Let’s go DJ https://t.co/5tF99VqJVi
— Corban Hill (@CorbHill30) June 1, 2022
Dustin no… 🥲 https://t.co/ZkviwW9pdC
— Allie (@abramsey15) June 1, 2022
DJ had to try to get relevant again somehow https://t.co/xEkjdDhhT6
— Eric Davidson (@ericdavidson5) June 1, 2022
Wow. Not surprised with some of the names on here, but I am SHOCKED Dustin Johnson is on this list. https://t.co/eyy7iWenBU
— db (@DaveBake_) June 1, 2022
— Gavin (@_Gavin_B) June 1, 2022
How did DJ get an exemption? https://t.co/bAMjxsjusX
— Mark leonhard (@Markleonhard1) June 1, 2022
Dustin Johnson is the surprise name… but I guess I should not be surprised. https://t.co/6yAwkX8Bln
— David Walker (@DavidWalkerSGHS) June 1, 2022
Dustin Johnson👀👀 did not see that one coming https://t.co/KB2GSqaxBv
— Matt Stallings (@stlcameron22) June 1, 2022
What’s also notable is that the following week’s PGA Tour event is the U.S. Open. If the PGA Tour is serious about not allowing LIV Golf players to play in its event, then one of the best players in the world — and a past champion — will not be in the field.
While the inaugural LIV Golf event hasn’t even teed off yet, many questions about the potential fallout from it remain.