Dustin Johnson shockingly set to headline the first LIV Golf tournament

The open
AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 25: Dustin Johnson waives to the crowd after making a birdie putt on the 12th hole during the PGA – World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play on March 25, 2022, at Austin County Club in Austin, TX. (Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire)

Well, who saw that one coming? Former world #1 and current #13, Dustin Johnson, has jumped through the forbidden door and will play in the upcoming LIV Golf Tournament taking place just outside of London on June 9-11.

Much has been said about LIV Golf, but the hype is definitely real. The opening event is a 54-hole tournament without a cut, shotgun starts, and a $25M prize pool. It has picked up quite a lot of media buzz over the past few months due to the ethical standpoint of trying to pry PGA Tour players away by dangling obscene amounts of money in front of them. The Saudi-backed league appears to have done the trick.

Dustin Johnson joins six former Major winners and 16 of the current top-100 golfers in the world for the opening event on June 9th. There have been 42 players announced up to this point, with room on the board for 6 more, including Phil Mickelson, should he make the presumed jump after months of deliberation and tugging with the PGA Tour.

Sergio Garcia is among the more notable names to be joining the fun. He’ll be playing alongside some familiar faces such as Britain’s Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, and America’s Kevin Na and Talor Gooch. There are some intriguing names throughout the lineup that also includes Louis Oosthuizen.

From the DP World Tour, Sam Horsfield will make the jump alongside Bernd Wiesberger, Oliver Fisher, Pablo Larrazabal, and Shaun Norris, amongst others.

PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, had previously threatened players with PGA Tour bans should they cross through the forbidden door. It’s very interesting to see which players have opted to make the leap.

LIV Golf has changed its identity over the past few months, and will now be fielding an eight-event schedule with consistent team-based and individual competiton throughout. There are 10 events scheduled in 2023, with plans for a full tour in 2024.

We’ll be looking to cover LIV Golf over the next few months to see what ripple effects form. How well will this fresh take on the sport be received? Will more PGA Tour players jump ship? Only time will tell.

Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire