Jordan Spieth Discusses Why He and Other PGA Tour Players Miss Dustin Johnson More Than the Other LIV Golf Defectors
The PGA Tour has lost several big-name stars and major championship winners to LIV Golf over the last year, one of the most notable being Dustin Johnson, who was the first to defect to the Saudi-backed series last May.
Jordan Spieth still seems to be a bit broken up about DJ’s departure, and he’s apparently not the only PGA Tour player who thinks that way.
Unlike some others who likely aren’t missed much (Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau come to mind), Johnson was extremely well-liked by his peers, and his absence from this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is certainly noticeable.
Not only did DJ play this tournament often alongside his now-father-in-law, Wayne Gretzky, but he’s also a two-time winner of the event.
He also played with Spieth in the early rounds for eight consecutive years, creating quite the high-profile grouping. So it’s understandable why Jordan was asked about his fellow Masters champion ahead of the action on the Monterey Peninsula this week.
Jordan Spieth discusses why Dustin Johnson is missed more on the PGA Tour than other LIV Golf defectors
Speaking with the media ahead of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Jordan Spieth was asked why his fellow PGA Tour players talk about missing Dustin Johnson more than any other LIV Golf defector. And this is what the three-time major winner had to say (h/t Sports Illustrated).
“If you’re talking about in general and not just this event, you know, I think there’s a number of guys that are missed. But I think DJ being maybe the first one to go over there and somebody who never was really controversial over here and more so just kind of worked his butt off, it paid off, got his breakthrough at the U.S. Open, then went and won The Masters.
“Just a Hall of Fame player that didn’t create controversy with any other players and played on a bunch of Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams. Represented ’em really well. He was a friend of mine. He is a friend of mine. I just haven’t seen him.”
Spieth went on to say how much everyone simply enjoyed being around Johnson, both on and off the course, and discussed the joys of competing against one of the best players in the world.
And make no mistake about it. Johnson is still that. While he’s dropped to 46th in the world rankings as LIV Golf doesn’t get OWGR points at this time, DJ played some of the best golf of his career in 2022, recording seven top-10 finishes in eight starts, including two individual victories.
But it won’t be long before we see Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson together again, as both will tee it up at The Masters.