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Dustin Johnson on criticism for saying LIV golfers took a risk: ‘Just said what I thought’

By admin May24,2024

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dustin Johnson shrugged his shoulders and acted surprised when told about the backlash from his comment that LIV golfers were the ones “that took the risk” for their decision to leave the PGA Tour.

“I didn’t see it,” Johnson said Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club after shooting a bogey-free 66 on the final day of the 106th PGA Championship.

“Just said what I thought.”

Johnson was speaking on the second season of the Netflix series “Full Swing,” about the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV league uniting. He was asked if he believes those who stayed with the Tour, some turning down tens of millions, should be compensated for their loyalty.

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“No, I don’t,” Johnson said on the episode. “The guys that went to LIV, we took a lot of criticism. We’re the ones that took the risk for everything. So why should they be compensated? Obviously, if this merger comes along, there’s gonna be a lot of guys who wish they would’ve signed.”

Those players did sacrifice legacy and reputation for what many considered a money grab, but they were compensated very well for those sacrifices. Some, including Johnson, reportedly signed with Greg Norman’s league for more than $100 million.

And Paulina Gretzky, Johnson’s wife, revealed the couple received death threats after her husband joined LIV.

2024 PGA Championship2024 PGA Championship

Paulina Gretzky, wife of Dustin Johnson, signs autographs during the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

With no deal since the framework agreement between the PGA Tour and PIF was announced 11 months ago, one heavily discussed aspect is how Tour players are rewarded and LIV golfers penalized for their decisions.

PGA Tour players are being promised large sums of money through the enterprises’ equity share plan.

Johnson, who was among the 11 of 16 LIV Golfers who made the cut on the number at 1 under, finished at 6-under 278.

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