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GOLF

Dustin Johnson and other big name PGA players to play in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series

The first LIV Golf Invitational Series has released the names of those who will participate in the tournament, and the list of players offers some surprises.

Gidget Alikpala
Update:
The first LIV Golf Invitational Series has released the names of those who will participate in the tournament, and the list of players offers some surprises.
Maddie Meyer/PGA of AmericaGetty

The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series will tee off this month following a string of controversies, and the list of participants packs some surprises.

No. 13 Dustin Johnson will be joining the competition, in a complete turnaround from what his statement indicated in February.

Johnson ‘Fully committed to the PGA tour’

“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,” according to a statement on his behalf.

“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.”

Now his agent David Winkle says that the 2017 number one-ranked golfer has been thinking about the matter for the last couple of years and that the new golf series “was too compelling to pass up.”

The 48-man competition will take place at the Centurion Club in London from June 9 to 12, competing directly with the RBC Canadian Open. Golf Canada released a statement indicating their disappointment at the decision of Johnson, who is an ambassador for the event.

Other notable names that appear on the participant list are former number ones Martin Kaymen and Lee Westwood, who had earlier indicated that they would join the contest. Louis Oosthuizen (No. 20), Kevin Na (33), Talor Gooch (35) and Sergio Garcia (54) will also be playing.

The prize money is certainly attractive. A purse of $25 million is up for grabs- $20 million of the amount for individuals, and the rest for the top three teams.

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