Dustin Johnson Jokes About 'Really Regretting' Joining LIV Golf

The American was all smiles ahead of the LIV Golf event in Jeddah

Dustin Johnson LIV golf press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ahead of LIV Golf's seventh event in Jeddah, two-time Major champion Dustin Johnson joked that he "really regrets" joining the Greg Norman-fronted venture.

Johnson, who was one of the marquee acquisitions prior to the curtain-raiser at Centurion Club in June, said: "I really regret my decision to come here. 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."

The American's remarks were very much tongue in cheek and met with laughter in the press room but they were somewhat out of character for a person that is usually quite reserved when speaking publicly.

A weight has perhaps been lifted off his shoulders having been named the season-long LIV Golf Individual Champion in Bangkok. After just six events, Johnson has collected a victory in Boston alongside four other top-10 finishes and is yet to finish outside the top-15. The 38-year-old can afford, quite literally, to be jovial having pocketed an enormous $30m alongside a reported $125 signing bonus with two events spare 

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Johnson, who described the Saudi-backed venture as "too compelling to pass up," has made more money from six LIV Golf events than in any other full season during his 15-year PGA Tour career and may well eclipse it next year in LIV's expanded $405m 14-tournament League. It has however, come at the price of his world ranking.

When he struck his first tee shot north of London in June, the 24-time PGA Tour winner was 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). Just four months later, he now sits at a precarious 24th with the possibility of dropping even further. 

The former World No.1, who finished T6 at the 150th Open at St. Andrews, believes the breakaway circuit "deserves" recognition with the Greg Norman-fronted venture embroiled in an ongoing battle with the OWGR Board - which consists of PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley. "I think we deserve them. I think obviously with the quality of players we have out here, the events we're having, we should have them," he said.

LIV Golf submitted an application for OWGR recognition in July that was endorsed by the Asian Tour, before entering into a strategic alliance with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Tour in the hope it would "immediately qualify" for ranking points for its Bangkok event last week. That however, was denied by OWGR chiefs on the grounds of "insufficient notice," much to the disapproval of former US Open champion Graeme McDowell.

The Northern Irishman hit out at OWGR's handling of the situation, claiming that LIV members are "getting hurt" and the word "official" should be stripped from the entity's name if "they don't take care of the players out here." 

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.