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Golf-Johnson, DeChambeau committed to PGA Tour amid breakaway threat – Metro US

Golf-Johnson, DeChambeau committed to PGA Tour amid breakaway threat

The 2020 Ryder Cup
The 2020 Ryder Cup

(Reuters) – Former world number one Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau on Sunday became the latest high-profile players to commit to the PGA Tour as the American-based circuit faces the threat of a rival Saudi-funded breakaway league.

Six-times major winner Phil Mickelson has said that top players have been contacted about joining a proposed Super Golf League (SGL) and the threat of that happening had improved their earning potential on the PGA Tour.

However, players who sign up for the breakaway competition, face potential bans from the PGA Tour and European-based DP World Tour, as well as the Ryder Cup.

“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,” American Johnson said in a statement posted on the PGA Tour website.

“I feel it is now time to put such speculation to rest. 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.

“While there will always be areas where our TOUR can improve and evolve, I am thankful for our leadership and the many sponsors who make the PGA TOUR golf’s premier tour.”

Twice major champion Johnson said this month while competing at the Asian Tour’s Saudi International that he was intrigued by the proposed rival league’s team component, calling it “a really good concept”.

Former world number one Greg Norman is spearheading the Super League as chief executive officer of LIV Golf Investments, which is backed by the Saudi Investment Fund.

No golfers have publicly signed up for the proposed rival league, which is trying to lure top players away from the PGA Tour with the promise of huge paydays.

Former U.S. Open champion DeChambeau, one of the more prominent names rumoured to be in talks with the SGL, said he has no plans to leave the PGA Tour barring a mass exodus of top talent.

“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 said in a statement on social media.

World number one Jon Rahm and No. 2 Collin Morikawa said at this week’s Genesis Invitational that they have no intention of leaving the PGA Tour.

Norwegian world number four Viktor Hovland also said this week he wants to play against the world’s best players which, if he had his wish, will continue to be on the PGA Tour.

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka are among the other high-profile golfers who have expressed their allegiance to the PGA Tour.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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