No Phil Mickelson -yet – but amongst the 42 names announced as competitors for the first LIV event in London next week is former World Number One Dustin Johnson.
Dustin had long been linked to the Saudi backed LIV group but did a U turn in February when he gave a statement saying that he was fully committed to the PGA Tour. Although he has said that he has ” no issues” with the tour, his agent said late yesterday that the invitation to play on the new LIV tour was
” in his family’s best interest to pursue it, it was too compelling to pass up”.
Well he has just had a very expensive wedding… but his wife Paulina has $5 million in her own right, his father in law Wayne Gretzky has $250 million and Dustin has already accumulated $74 million in official earnings.
I have an open mind about LIV, and am looking forward to going to the tournament next week. Particularly with major champions Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel playing. But it does look as though this is all heading to court to decide whether professional golfers really are independent contractors or whether they are legally, as well as duty, bound to pledge allegiance to their tours. So far the DP World tour has provided the majority of the field, but with six places to fill before next Thursday, anything can happen.
Let’s hope Mickelson makes a last minute decision to come out of exile somewhere soon. But it’s either this or the US Open, and with his record there coming to London might be the easier option.
Here are the first 42 competitors announced