US stars Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau this past Sunday became the latest top players to snub a proposed Saudi-backed Super Golf League.
“Over the past several months there has been a great deal of speculation about an alternative tour, much of which seems to have included me and my future in professional golf,” two-time Major champion Johnson said in a statement released through the PGA Tour.
“I feel it is now time to put such speculation to rest,” added Johnson, a former world No 1 currently ranked sixth. “I am fully committed to the PGA Tour.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to play on the best tour in the world and for all it has provided me and my family.”
Hours after Johnson released his statement, 2020 US Open champion DeChambeau said on his Twitter account that he had no plans to depart the PGA Tour any time soon.
“While there has been a lot of speculation surrounding my support for another tour, I want to make it very clear that as long as the best players in the world are playing the PGA Tour, so will I,” DeChambeau wrote.
“As of now, I am focused on getting myself healthy and competing again soon,” added DeChambeau, who withdrew from the Saudi International this month, citing wrist and hip injuries, and didn’t play at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club this week.
The proposed Super League, spearheaded by Australian great Greg Norman, has again been a topic of discussion at Riviera, thanks in part to comments from six-time Major winner Phil Mickelson.
In remarks related by biographer Alan Shipnuck via the Fire Pit Collective website on Thursday, Mickelson described the Saudi paymasters of the controversial breakaway league as “scary,” citing the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
While few players have addressed concerns over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, a wealth of the world’s best has indicated they are not interested in jumping ship.
Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy said this week he was “so sick” of answering questions about the proposed league, which has yet to confirm its first signed-up player.
Calling it a “not-so Super League”, McIlroy noted that none of the game’s rising 20-something stars, such as world No 1 Jon Rahm and second-ranked Collin Morikawa, had committed.
“You’ve got the top players in the world are saying no, so that has to tell you something,” McIlroy said.
Rahm said this week that the Saudi-backed league was “just not something I believe is the best for me and my future in golf, and I think the best legacy I can accomplish will be with the PGA Tour”.
Morikawa said this week that he feels the PGA Tour is “where I belong”.
© Agence France-Presse