Dustin Johnson apparently does not subscribe to the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Johnson, the captain of the 4 Aces team that won LIV Golf’s inaugural season title on Oct. 30, intends to replace Talor Gooch with fellow American Peter Uihlein and change the team name before the 2023 season, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported.
Uihlein, a former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, finished third in LIV Golf’s season prize earnings. Johnson, who won LIV’s individual title and more than $35.6 million in the Saudi-funded league’s debut year, led the team of Patrick Reed, Pat Perez and Gooch to the team title in Doral, Florida.
LIV Golf has not announced its 2023 schedule, though the tour intends to expand from eight events this year to 14 next season and seek to establish team franchises similar to those in other professional sports. READ MORE
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman still thinks that common ground can be found between his upstart Saudi-funded tour and the established PGA Tour, he said in an interview with golf writers last week. “The PGA Tour has created this angst,” Norman said three days after LIV Golf completed its inaugural season. “We did not create the angst. Why does competition create heartburn? Why the vitriol?” Since LIV Golf’s debut early this year, the rival tours have competed for the world’s top golfers and been locked in a war of words that has escalated into lawsuits and countersuits in federal court. READ MORE
The PGA Tour dismissed claims by Bubba Watson that he received guaranteed appearance money, a would-be violation of tour rules that runs counter to the tour’s long-stated principle of a sports meritocracy for pay based solely on performance. Watson, a two-time Masters champion who signed with LIV Golf, told ESPN that any criticism of the Saudi-funded tour’s guaranteed payments “makes me laugh because that’s what we’re doing. We don’t want to talk about it on (the PGA) Tour, but we are getting it.” The PGA Tour told ESPN in a statement: “We are aware that certain tournament sponsors may contract with a player to perform a sponsor-related activity during tournament week for which they receive nominal compensation. This is permissible under our guidelines.” READ MORE
Americans Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele reportedly are at the top of the list of potential recruits for LIV Golf as the rival tour begins preparations for its second season. The Guardian newspaper of London says that the Saudi-funded tour is trying to sign Cantlay and Schauffele, partners in the recent U.S. Presidents Cup victory and ranked Nos. 4 and 6 in the world, respectively, along with Chile’s Mito Pereira and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters. READ MORE
Former Masters champion Patrick Reed expanded his list of legal grievances to include Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson, author Shane Ryan, the New York Post and Fox Sports, among others, in yet another lawsuit filed by Florida attorney Larry Klayman on behalf of the LIV Golf member. In the 92-page complaint filed Nov. 1 in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida, Reed claims that the defendants “committed the tortious act of defamation, injurious falsehoods, tortious interference and civil conspiracy.” The action comes 2½ months after Reed sued commentator Brandel Chamblee and his employer, Golf Channel, before refiling that defamation lawsuit a month later and expanding the list of defendants to include more journalists, whom he called “jackals.” Since signing with LIV Golf on June 11, Reed has dropped from 36th to 60th in the Official World Golf Ranking as the new tour has yet to qualify for world-ranking points. READ MORE
The PGA Tour accused the Saudi backers of the fund that has bankrolled LIV Golf of ignoring recent subpoenas to produce documents or appear for a deposition related to the rival tours’ ongoing fight in U.S. federal court. According to a court filing that was made public late last week, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and its head, Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan had reneged on an agreement. The Saudis have “done a complete about-face” and claimed that “there is no court in the United States with jurisdiction over them.” READ MORE
Staff and Wire Reports