Doc's Morning Line: What Dustin Johnson should have said about playing LIV Golf event

·5 min read

Dustin Johnson is blowing off one of his sponsors by skipping the RBC Canadian Open next week, to play in the first event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational. Loyalty is no thicker than a dollar bill to DJ, who not long ago declared his undying allegiance to the PGA Tour.

What do youse make of this?

Whadda we make of it, Doc? We think you’re trying to put us to sleep. Golf leading TML? Really? Was cricket not available?

Dustin Johnson then: “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."

Dustin Johnson now, via his agent: "Dustin has been contemplating the opportunity off-and-on for the past couple of years. Ultimately, he decided it was in his and his family's best interest to pursue it.’’

I don’t know what’s worse, to take money from people who live in a country where innocent people are dismembered. . . or to claim you’re doing it for your family. It’s like any free-agent athlete who jumps ship for the “security’’ it brings. Guy was making, say, $13 mil last year; this year, he’ll make $16 mil.

What’s the going rate for family security?

Just say, “I wanna be as fabulously rich as possible.’’

Johnson has earned $74 million on the PGA Tour, third all-time, behind only Tiger and Phil. He makes an estimated $11 mil a year in endorsements, including cash from Royal Bank of Canada, the company he’s stiffing to join the Saudis. His family is undoubtedly grateful that their husband and father will now free them from the tragedy of living on PGA Tour wages.

The Tour has not given Johnson its OK to jump ship, at least for the moment. He could be disciplined upon his return. Here’s the larger point:

Does anything scream MoneyMoneyMoney more than this? At some point, if winning means more, you say, I’ve got enough cash, I want to build a legacy that cash can’t buy.

What will it mean for Johnson to win the inaugural Saudi Junket Invitational? It’s a 54-hole, no-cut event with 48 mostly older guys playing. Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell, and Kevin Na are good players. They’re not exactly the cream of the current PGA crop.

The sheen on Phil Mickelson’s image disappeared as soon as he said he would play the Junket. Wonder what happens to the affection for Dustin.

JACK NICKLAUS HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE BEST INTERVIEW in golf. For a couple decades at least, if you covered the Masters, attending Jack’s annual state-of-the-state presser on Tuesday pre-tournament was must-do. The Eternal One was candid, relaxed and actually enjoyed the banter. And who better to talk about golf and Augusta National than Jack?

The best sporting event I have ever covered, even now, was Nicklaus winning the ’86 Masters.

He doesn’t occupy the Augusta stage anymore, but he does something similar the Tuesday before the Memorial. Yesterday he was asked why he’d started playing again, after a year of keeping the clubs in the garage. Or wherever Jack Nicklaus keeps his clubs.

Nicklaus, 82, played four rounds of golf recently, two at Augusta National and two at Muirfield Village.

“Why am I playing? I don’t know. I’m tired of not playing, I think. I really love to play golf. I don’t enjoy playing golf the way I’ve been playing, that’s for sure, but I enjoyed it. I had a chance to shoot my age both days (at Memorial), and I choked.

“I don’t know why I’m playing. I’m going to continue to play. You’ve got to do something for crying out loud. I’ve been sitting around feeling sorry for myself because I haven’t been able to do anything.’’

If I make it to 82, I hope I talk like that.

One of our region’s best open secrets is how much good, inexpensive golf we can play. Tee times are almost always available just about anywhere. Public greens fees are usually no more than $40-45, with a cart. That just doesn’t happen anywhere on the East Coast, especially.

Now, then. . .

The Reds no longer have the worst record in baseball. That belongs to Kansas City. And don’t look now, but they’re gaining on the Cubs to put a hammerlock on 4th place in the division. Onward and upward.

The Club had a winning May (14-13) and did it mostly without India, Votto, Senzel, Castillo and Minor. They have no bullpen hierarchy to speak of. The best pieces of the rotation have been guys they pulled from the minors. The lineup scares no one.

Might there be room in your jaundiced hearts for a little DBell love?

As he was last year and every year, Bell has been entirely supportive of his players. You might say they don’t play with urgency. I might say they’re relaxed. You might say Bell does a poor job handling his pitchers. I might say given the talent on hand, what would you like him to do?

Recall who was here last year and the year before who isn’t here now.

Miley, Gray, Bauer, Lorenzen, DeSclafani. Garrett, Antone, Bradley, Iglesias. That’s a credible starting rotation and a quartet of bona fide major-league relievers.

If this team manages to win 75 games, Bell will get MOY votes.

RAY LIOTTA. . . I forgot to mention him yesterday. He was one of those actors who, if he only did one movie, he’d still be remembered. Goodfellas was that good, and he was that good in it.

I have only a handful of movies I’ve seen more than once. The list pretty much begins and ends with Diner, Saving Private Ryan, Bull Durham. . . and Goodfellas. As Henry Hill, Liotta was more memorable than Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro in that movie. Paul Sorvino, too. For its sheer exuberance, Goodfellas was the best gangster movie ever, better even than Godfathers I and II.

What say you, Mobsters?

AND NOW. . .

FunMaster David says yippie-ki-yay. . .

The festivals roll on this week as Milford is hosting their 60th annual Frontier Days event. The festivities kick off with a parade on Thursday night and run through Saturday evening. The event, which is free to attend, features live music, food/beverage available for purchase, rides/games for kids, and much more including a car show on Saturday at noon and daily magic shows. More information is available at frontierdaysmilford.com.

Summerfair returns to Coney Island this weekend. The annual arts festival which has been running for over 50 years features approximately 300 artists from both Cincinnati and across the United States plus gourmet food and beverage vendors and regional performers. Tickets are $10 (free for those under 12) and are available at summerfair.org.

If you have an event you'd like to submit, please email davidcincyevents@gmail.com.

TUNE O' THE DAY. . .This appeared on the soundtrack of the 1st episode of this season's Stranger Things. Timeless and durable and instantly recognizable to multiple generations.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Dustin Johnson LIV Golf: What star PGA Tour player should've said