Currently ranked 24th in the Official World Golf Ranking after finishing 2021 at No. 3, LIV Golf defector Dustin Johnson has 30 million reasons not to care. And, based on the way Johnson answered questions at this week’s LIV event in Saudi Arabia, it sounds like he doesn’t.
Johnson, who clinched LIV’s season-long title on Sunday after the tour’s sixth tournament in Bangkok and earned an $18 million bonus in the process to bring his total prize money since joining the upstart tour to $30,758,600, was asked if his 4.5-month stint with the Saudi-backed circuit had met or exceeded his expectations.
“We talked about this yesterday. I really regret my decision to come here,” Johnson said sarcastically. “It’s just so terrible. I’m sitting there last night thinking about it, it was really bothering me a lot. Yeah, just can’t get over it.”
Clearly laughing all the way to the bank, the 38-year-old had his fellow LIV golfer Harold Varner III howling with laughter after his comments. And why not? The two-time major champion and former world No. 1, who reportedly banked a signing fee of $125 million to jump ship from the PGA Tour, has earned more than $150 million since joining LIV Golf and is still ranked in the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Not including FedEx Cup bonuses, Johnson earned nearly $75 million in his 15 years on the PGA Tour before resigning his membership to join LIV Golf.
Johnson, who had his most lucrative year with the PGA Tour in 2020 when he got a $15 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup and earned just over $5 million in regular prize money, also isn’t done earning as LIV Golf has yet to wrap its season with a $50 million team tournament at Trump Doral near Miami. Each player on the winning team gets $4 million.
Expect Johnson to keep raking in the dough and falling in the rankings as he is pegged to be a “cornerstone” of LIV Golf moving forward, according to CEO Greg Norman. “The first chapter of LIV Golf’s history could not be written without Dustin Johnson’s name. By any measure, DJ is among the elite players in the world,” he said. “From the start, he’s been an LIV Golf cornerstone. He has more than lived up to his billing and he deserves immense credit for clinching LIV’s first individual season title. We look forward to a celebration befitting such a champion in Miami at the end of October.”
Sounds like card-carrying LIVer Phil Mickelson will be looking forward to it as well.