Rebel Saudi Golf League pays superstar Johnson “about $ 175 million” for shock defection

Dustin Johnson’s frog came with a heavy price tag.

The Telegraph in the UK reports that LIV Golf, a new golf league backed by the Saudi government led by Greg Norman seeking to disrupt the PGA Tour, paid Johnson “around” £ 100 million – about $ 174 million – for entry. their series.

There is definitely a lot of money in the game. Golf legend Jack Nicklaus recently said he was offered “just over $ 100 million” USD to lead the league. The role eventually fell to Norman.

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Dustin Johnson of the United States plays a bunker shot on the ninth hole during the second round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 20, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Christian Petersen / Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

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RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), one of Johnson’s primary sponsors, severed ties with the golfer and said she was “very disappointed” with his decision to play on the circuit.

“RBC is a proud partner of the PGA Tour. Our partnership is anchored by two world-class golf tournaments – RBC Heritage and RBC Canadian Open, “the bank said in a statement. “The PGA Tour has made its intentions clear in accordance with its tournament rules if a golfer decides to play an off-tour tournament, including the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

“We recently learned that Dustin Johnson has decided to play the LIV Golf Invitational Series opener. DJ has been a respected member of the RBC team since 2018. Although we are extremely disappointed with his decision, we wish him good luck. ”

Johnson, 37, who is married to Paulina Gretzky, won the US Open 2016 and Masters 2020.

Other golfers at the June Saudi Golf League outside of London include Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Kevin Na, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell and Talor Gooch.

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Phil Mickelson caused a stir earlier this year as he downplayed the human rights concerns associated with league competition.

“They’re scary mothers who can be involved,” Mickelson told his biographer Alan Shipnuck in February. “We know they killed.” [Washington Post reporter Jamal] Khashoggi and have terrible human rights record. They execute people there for being gay. If I know all this, why would I even think about it? Because this is a unique opportunity to reshape the way the PGA Tour works. ”

Mickelson, who also broke the “unpleasant greed” of the PGA Tour due to the amount of money that is not distributed among golfers, faced a months-long shadow ban from participating in the PGA Tour after these remarks.

The PGA Tour issued a statement on Wednesday stating that members were “not eligible to participate” in the Saudi Golf League and were subject to an unspecified “disciplinary procedure”.

This story originally appeared in the NY Post and is reproduced with permission.

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