Two-Time Champion Dustin Johnson Out Of Saudi International
Dustin Johnson will not be able to aim for a third win at the Saudi International after pulling out late with a back injury.
Johnson, who won Saudi International in 2019 and 2021, has had back problems before, including when he had to withdraw from the 2017 Masters.
Johnson is now said to have polished his back ahead of the Asian Tour event at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, which is sponsored by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) – the same organization that funds LIV Golf.
The 48 players who played in LIV Golf’s 2022 season-closing team championship entered the Saudi International, which will now be reduced to 47 with Johnson’s retirement.
If the double champion is absent, many big names are still involved in the fifth edition of the event which takes place near Jeddah thanks to the LIV Golf group.
Defending champion Harold Varner III is joined by Open champion Cameron Smith and Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia and Paul Casey.
In addition to the event’s $5 million prize money, an added incentive for LIV Golf players is the availability of Official Golf World Ranking Points in the tournament.
The winner was due to receive 26 ranking points before Johnson retired – but even without him it’s still a potentially valuable gain given LIV Golf’s ineligibility to offer points to its players.
Last year’s title was decided in dramatic fashion as Varner III landed an incredible 92-foot eagle putt to claim the trophy.
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