RBC announce replacements for LIV Golf's Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell

RBC have confirmed the three PGA Tour players they will sponsor after Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Harold Varner III joined LIV Golf.

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 29 Nov 2022
RBC announce replacements for LIV Golf's Dustin Johnson and Graeme McDowell

The Royal Bank of Canada has announced PGA Tour players Cameron Young, Sahith Theegala and Sam Burns will fill the void left by LIV Golf's Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Harold Varner III. 

In case you didn't know, the professional golf world has been particularly interesting in 2022. 

The emergence of the tour financed by the Saudi royal family and accusations of sportswashing have meant some sponsors have parted ways with players because of the bad press. It has been so toxic. 

Think of Phil Mickelson who was dumped by KPMG, Amstel and Workday. His contract with Callaway - to the best of our knowledge - remains paused. 

Related: Ian Poulter reopens LIV Golf debate with this dig

Rocket Mortgage have dumped Bryson DeChambeau. Elsewhere, Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen had their contracts terminated by UPS. 

Original equipment manufacturers have remained largely silent about their position with the league, commissioned by Greg Norman

Though behind the scenes it appears there is a real, real headache

But back to our topic at hand and RBC have confirmed Young - the PGA Tour's Rookie of The Year - as well as Theegala and Burns will replace the LIV Golf "rebels". 

You might remember that Johnson and McDowell announced their intention to play in LIV Golf's inaugural event in June - only a couple of weeks before the Canadian Open on the PGA Tour which is sponsored by RBC. 

The tournament was later won by Rory McIlroy, who twisted the knife on Norman when he won his 21st PGA Tour title - one more than the Australian managed in his career. 

As for HVIII, he was ditched by RBC a couple of months later after admitting his switch was all about the money. 

In confirming the news, RBC's chief marketing officer Mary DePaoli has told Forbes:

"We were certainly disappointed when we lost DJ, G-Mac and HVIII. They've all been just terrific ambassadors for RBC. But we also understand that they needed to make a decision for their own purposes and reasons and we respect that.
"Cam, Sam, and Sahith are the next generation of professional golf stars. We've been impressed with their performance on the course but we’ve also come to know them as athletes and individuals as we have with our other RBC ambassadors. They're really that next generation of elite athlete but also very community focused as well. I think they represent the best of the future of the PGA Tour." 

All three players have made particularly huge strides in their PGA Tour careers so far. 

Burns, 26, is now five-time winner on the circuit. He was selected for the 2022 Presidents Cup side at Quail Hollow Club. 

Theegala has yet to taste victory but he impressed massively during his rookie season. 

The decision for RBC to partner with Young, 25, is particularly interesting.

Like Theegala, he is yet to win on the PGA Tour but has been extremely consistent in 2022, finishing T-2 at the Sanderson Farms Championship, Tiger Woods' Genesis Invitational and Wells Fargo Championship. 

Young also finished third at the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills and solo second at the 150th Open Championship in July. 

In the end, Young admitted his LIV Golf offer came too soon in his career and opted to stay with the PGA Tour... for now? 

Next page: Nine players who changed their mind about LIV Golf