Paulina Gretzky explains Dustin Johnson’s decision to join LIV Golf
Dustin Johnson made headlines when he decided to join LIV Golf last year. Fans found themselves questioning the top athlete.
Why would one of the best golfers in the world leave the PGA Tour?
Johnson, 38, has repeatedly said his decision was in the best interests of his family. He is married to Paulina Gretzky, daughter of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, and the couple have two children.
In the Netflix series “Full Swing”, Paulina Gretzky shed some light on Johnson’s career move.
“I don’t think Dustin would ever make a bad choice for his kids and people have to understand at the end of the day, that’s why he chose this,” Gretzky said via the New York Post. “Of course I understand what everyone is saying, but my dad being a hockey player [NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky] – I’m sure as a kid there were times when I was like, ‘Why does my dad have to play on my birthday?’ It’s about Dustin, the kids and me, taking care of ourselves and being there with us.”
Johnson left the PGA Tour in 2022
Johnson received a four-year contract worth $125 million from LIV Golf. According to Palm Beach Post reporter Tom D’Angelo, Johnson had earned about $75 million in 15 years on the PGA Tour before defecting.
“I’ve had a wonderful career on the PGA Tour and I’m very proud of it, and always will be,” Johnson said on the show. “Obviously I’ve taken a different step in my life and my career.”
However, the decision did not come without backlash.
What are other LIV golfers saying?
Several golfers have spoken openly about the LIV Golf Series. Rory McIlroy has spoken out about LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman. McIlroy said Norman “has to go” amid controversy between the parties.
Tiger Woods echoed a similar sentiment. He reviewed LIV Golf during his press conference at the Open Championship last year.
“I disagree,” Woods said. “I think what they’ve done is they’ve turned their backs on what got them into this position.”
Despite the animosity between the two sides, Johnson continues to thrive in LIV Golf. He won the Boston LIV Golf Invitational and topped the overall money leader list. Additionally, Johnson also won the individual championship and is the captain of the 4 Aces team.
“I know I’m one of the best golfers in the world. I think I’ve proven that over a long period of time. When I show up at a major, I mean, I’m there to win, and they can have their own opinion,” Johnson said. “For me personally, I feel like my reputation as a golfer is kind of already established, so I don’t think there’s anything to prove.”