Dustin Johnson explains reason for shock LIV Golf U-turn

Dustin Johnson Us Pga 2021

Dustin Johnson was perhaps the most surprising name to be listed when the field for next week's inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event was released overnight.

The former world No.1 and two-time major champion will peg it up alongside the likes of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter when the first of the Saudi-funded, Greg Norman-fronted tournaments gets under way at the Centurion Club near London in eight days' time.

It was only in February that Johnson, the third-highest earning player in the history of the PGA Tour, appeared to rule out that prospect.

“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,” said the 37-year-old.

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“I feel it is now time to put such speculation to rest. I am fully committed to the PGA Tour.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to play on the best tour in the world and for all it has provided for me and my family."

So what has changed?

In a short statement, his long-time agent, David Winkle, explained.

"Dustin has been contemplating the opportunity off-and-on for the past couple of years," said Winkle.

"Ultimately, he decided it was in his and his family's best interest to pursue it. Dustin has never had any issue with the PGA Tour and is grateful for all it has given but, in the end, felt this was too compelling to pass up."

What sanctions Johnson - and the other players who have signalled their intention to play the LIV Golf Series - might face is not yet clear.

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Rumours abound of lifetime bans from the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and even the Ryder Cup.

The PGA Tour has not yet outlined its position - the LIV Golf field was announced at a little after 8pm Ponte Vedra Beach time last night - whilst the DP World Tour declined to comment when approached by bunkered.co.uk this morning.

Johnson is also choosing to play in the LIV Golf Series opener ahead of the RBC Canadian Open, which takes place on the PGA Tour next week. Johnson has been sponsored for several years by RBC who said in a statement that they are "extremely disappointed" by his decision but "wish him well."

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