Going, going, John | 

Dustin Johnson's decision to quit PGA tour shows how detached from reality he is

How could Johnson, with a personal wealth of €60m and with career earnings and sponsorship deals worth well over double that, sit with a straight face when he spoke of "having to play golf for the rest of his life" if he remained on the PGA Tour.
Eamon Gibson

Dustin Johnson’s resignation has sent shockwaves throughout the PGA Tour.

Make no mistake, others, such as Kevin Na, Talor Gooch and our own Graeme McDowell were only bit-part players in this hastily-constructed press conference earlier today.

It was all about DJ and the clout that he brings. It was box office. Literally.

They can talk about opportunities, vision and future events but this was all about one thing: Money and greed.

How could Johnson, with a personal wealth of €60m and with career earnings and sponsorship deals worth well over double that, sit with a straight face when he spoke of "having to play golf for the rest of his life" if he remained on the PGA Tour.

He is now so detached from reality that he spat that comment as if it was a life sentence instead of the incredible life of luxury, private jets and decadence in which he exists. It has been reported that Johnson and Mickelson have trousered €200m just to sign up to the Saudi-backed LIV golf event.

Tiger Woods, for all his perceived faults, turned down even more than that.

At today’s conference, Gooch and Na showed about as much charisma as damp cucumber sandwiches.

Na spoke of being a "pioneer" and announced his decision on social media. He didn’t help his cause by his opening line: "To my FAN"…. one fears that even his lone fan will now desert him.

Gooch, meanwhile, admitted that he “wasn’t that smart” when questioned on the origin of the money behind the newly-formed LIV Tour.

With almost €5m on offer for every tour win (even the lowest placed golfer will get over €130k!), the cash is coming from the Saudi-based Public Investment Fund (PIF), linking it to a country with an extremely questionable and concerning human rights record.

But the best lines of all came from McDowell, the "Oirish" golfer with the Yankee twang. He spoke about acting as “a role model for young golfers."

Really Graeme? How does leaving a Tour that made you a household name before you go in the pursuit of riches at the tail end of your career inspire young golfers?

What exactly does that teach? Greed is good? If that’s the kind of role model you promote, I’d rather switch off if that’s ok with you.

There will be many bogeys on display this week, and many of them were at today’s top table.


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