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    Former world number one Dustin Johnson quits PGA tour

    ST ALBANS, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Former world number one golfer Dustin Johnson confirmed yesterday he has resigned his membership of the US PGA Tour to play in the breakaway LIV Golf Invitational Series.

    The decision effectively rules the United States (US) two-time major winner out of participating in the Ryder Cup, which pits the US against Europe.

    Johnson was speaking at a press conference at Centurion Club, near London, ahead of the opening event of the Saudi-backed breakaway tour, which starts tomorrow.

    The world number 15 said in February he was committed to playing on the PGA Tour, which has refused releases for members to play in LIV Golf’s opener.

    But he has now quit, following a similar decision by veteran US golfer Kevin Na, who is also in the field for the event in St Albans.

    Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson confirmed on Monday he has also signed up to play in a major coup for the organisers.

    United States golfer Dustin Johnson speaks during a press conference ahead of the forthcoming LIV Golf Invitational Series event. PHOTO: AFP

    “I’m very thankful to the PGA Tour and everything that it’s done for me… but this is something I felt was best for me and my family and I’m very excited about playing,” said Johnson.

    The 37-year-old said it was difficult to predict the consequences of his decision to play in the breakaway series.

    “Right now, I’ve resigned my membership from the Tour,” he added. “I’m going to play here for now and that’s the plan.

    “The Ryder Cup is unbelievable and has definitely meant a lot to me,” said Johnson, who won all five of his matches in the US’ record 19-9 win over Europe at Whistling Straits last year.

    “Hopefully I will get a chance to do that again, but I don’t make the rules.”

    The former Masters and US Open champion said he was exempt to play in the majors due to his record.

    Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter are also among the 48-man field for the USD25 million event at Centurion Club.

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