Dustin Johnson Becomes Latest to Resign from PGA Tour Membership
Add Dustin Johnson to the list of players who has resigned from the PGA Tour to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
At the introductory press conference Tuesday at the Centurion Club outside London, Johnson said that he is planning to play only the eight-event LIV series and the major championships moving forward.
“For right now, I’ve resigned my membership on the Tour and I’m going to play [LIV] for now,” he told reporters. “That’s the plan.”
In February, Johnson said that he was “fully committed” to the PGA Tour but recently had a change of heart, announcing last week that he was signing up for the rival league. Johnson has been a Tour member since 2008, winning 24 times and amassing nearly $75 million in on-course earnings. He was on the verge of becoming a lifetime Tour member, with at least 20 Tour wins and 15 active seasons.
Johnson’s decision to resign from the Tour follows similar decisions made by Sergio Garcia, Kevin Na, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace. Phil Mickelson told Sports Illustrated on Monday that he does not intend to resign from his lifetime membership.
Johnson’s move comes with some potential repercussions.
Johnson will likely be ruled ineligible for any future Ryder Cups. PGA Tour players earn automatic membership into the PGA of America, and only PGA members can be considered for the U.S. team. Johnson is coming off a historic 5-0 performance last fall at Whistling Straits, where the Americans won the Ryder Cup by the most lopsided margin in event history.
“Obviously all things are subject to change,” Johnson said. “Hopefully at some point it will change and I’ll be able to participate. If it doesn’t, well, it was another thing I really had to think long and hard about. Ultimately, I decided to come to this and play out here.”
Without Tour membership, Johnson also won’t be allowed to play in the Presidents Cup. He hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since November 2020 and was ranked 20th in the points standings before this announcement. The American team will be finalized at the end of August.
Johnson, down to No. 15 in the world rankings, said that he fully intends to play in the major championships, including next week’s U.S. Open at The Country Club. He won the U.S. Open in 2016.
“What the consequences are going to be I can’t comment on how the Tour’s going to handle it,” he said. “I can’t answer for the majors, but hopefully they’re going to allow us to play. Obviously I’m exempt for the majors, so I plan on playing there unless I hear otherwise.”