It just got a whole lot lonelier on Phil Island.
The latest names to pledge their support for the PGA Tour and, in effect, put to rest the rumors of their involvement with a potential breakaway league funded by Saudi Arabia were Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau, each of whom issued statements on Sunday.
It’s a blow not just for the prospects of getting the splinter league off the ground but also for Phil Mickelson, whose inflammatory comments in recent weeks have alienated him from his Tour peers. Johnson and DeChambeau had long been viewed — alongside Mickelson — as pillars of the shadow circuit.
Without younger players of their stature in the fold, a picture emerges of the Saudi league that isn’t particularly enticing for golf fans: Mickelson, 51 and increasingly bitter, fronting a part-time circuit populated by an assortment of aging pros whose accomplishments on the PGA Tour are few.
Here’s a closer look at the statements put out by Johnson and DeChambeau:
- Funneling his message, notably, through the Twitter account for PGA Tour Communications, Johnson acknowledged the monthslong “speculation about an alternative tour” but said he is “fully committed to the PGA Tour.” The 24-time winner added that he is “grateful for the opportunity to play on the best tour in the world and for all it has provided me and my family.” The Tour will “always have areas where it can improve and evolve,” Johnson wrote. But it remains “golf’s premier tour” in his eyes.
Statement on behalf of Dustin Johnson pic.twitter.com/731B4SmyQv
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) February 20, 2022
- DeChambeau, who’s been inactive as he deals with injuries to his left hip and left wrist, took to Twitter later in the day to express similar sentiments. “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.” The eight-time winner reiterated his desire to get himself healthy and competing again.
— Bryson DeChambeau (@b_dechambeau) February 20, 2022