Dustin Johnson on LIV golfers: 'We're the ones that took the risk for everything'

Dustin Johnson has a completely different take on those who shunned the PGA Tour for LIV Golf, and those who are being hailed as loyalists for remaining on the tour.

Speaking on the second second season of the Netflix series "Full Swing," Johnson believes those golfers who were handed tens, and some hundreds, of millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund are the ones who "took the risk." One reason is the criticism those golfers received from joining a league financed by a country with atrocious human rights violations.

Johnson, who lives in Jupiter, also wonders why those who remained on the tour — many turning down those multimillions — should be compensated if the two sides one day unite.

"No, I don't," Johnson said on the episode when asked whether PGA Tour players were owed compensation if LIV players returned to the tour.

"The guys that went to LIV, we took a lot of criticism. We're the ones that took the risk for everything. So why should they be compensated? Obviously, if this merger comes along, there's gonna be a lot of guys who wish they would've signed."

Dustin Johnson of the 4 Aces lines up his put ton the seventh green during the final round of LIV Golf Miami golf tournament at Trump National Doral.
Dustin Johnson of the 4 Aces lines up his put ton the seventh green during the final round of LIV Golf Miami golf tournament at Trump National Doral.

With no final deal since the framework agreement was announced 11 months ago, one heavily discussed aspect is how PGA Tour players are rewarded and LIV golfers penalized for their decisions.

PGA Tour players are being promised very large sums of money through the enterprises' equity share plan. Large, as in a reported $100 million for Tiger Woods, $50 million for Rory McIlroy and $30 million for players like Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, according to the The Telegraph.

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When it comes to legacy, reputation and their safety, Johnson is correct. These players have made sacrifices.

Paulina Gretzky, Johnson's wife, revealed that the couple received death threats after her husband joined LIV.

"People sending death threats and awful, awful, awful things," she said. "People were aggressive that’s for sure. But that’s when I shut it down for a little bit. I was like I don’t need to look at this. Everyone has an opinion on it. Fine.”

But financially … Jon Rahm's sacrifice will earn him a reported $550 million, including bonuses for joining LIV, while Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Cam Smith reportedly all signed with LIV for more than $100 million.

And many others will earn tens of millions, such as Tyrrell Hatton, who reportedly signed for around $65 million.

Tom D'Angelo is a senior sports columnist and golf writer for The Palm Beach Post. He can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Why Dustin Johnson says LIV players should be rewarded in PGA Tour merger