Marc Daniels Monday Notebook: DJ's $125M, NBA Game 2's, 44 Runs And HOJOS

PGA Championship - Round 1

Photo: Getty Images

June 6, 2022

Golf's next two weeks will be fascinating to watch unfold. The London Telegraph is reporting Dustin Johnson is getting $125M to play in the LIV Golf Series, which begins this week in England. PGA Tour player Kevin Na announced he was giving up his tour card to play as well. While Na's amount is not yet known, he posted a message on social media explaining his decision was about PGA Tour policies and his desire, as independent contractor, to play where and when he wants.

Johnson's amount, if true, is mind boggling and totals more than Tiger Woods' all-time winnings as a player. Other than the message Johnson's agent posted, the player has not said anything publicly but that will change. If Johnson does indeed play in the LIV event that begins Friday, one would think he will address the story before he tees off. The story will get more interesting the following week when the US Open takes place.

Johnson is not the only player scheduled to play in England this week that is expected to play in the US Open. Sergio Garcia and Na have qualified for the Open. The USGA has not stated if they will allow LIV players to play in their event.

So does all this come down to money? Johnson is about to turn 38 and while he likely has more wins in him on the tour and maybe another major or two, he has always had a different personality than the typical golfer and has not hidden his position on politics and social issues. I get the feeling Johnson doesn't care what you, I and the golfing media think of his legacy. I'm guessing he feels like his resume speaks for itself. Someone has presented him with $125M and he feels he can't pass that up.

Columns criticizing Johnson or other tour players questioning his decision likely mean little to him. So when you ask about how golf history will view Johnson? My guess is Dustin will be busy counting his money. 

Kevin Na's decision may be more of a legal maneuver about playing in the PGA's minimum of 15 tournaments and avoiding being banned by the tour. But maybe Na also sees the money he's getting and money he may win as too tempting to pass up.

But the next two weeks will be fascinating theatre in golf with blockbusting stories...

The NBA FInals are even after two games with the 107-88 Golden State win. The Warriors used a 35-14 third quarter to move past the Celtics. Al Hortford went 1-4 in shooting and Marcus Smart went 1-6 and Jaylen Brown went 5-17 from the floor. Steph Curry went for 29 but Draymond Green's nine point and seven rebound game may have been most impactful. Green called it an "attitude adjustment" mentality as he bumped, pushed, shoved, trash-talked and vibed his way around the floor doing the things the future hall-of-famer has done before in getting under the skin of an opponent. Despite already having a technical, it didn't stop Green from getting into it with Brown, Smart and Jayson Tatum. Does Green go too far? Do officials give him more leeway because of past behavior? Is his style dirty? Those are debates that will fill sports radio shows today but it definitely seemed to set a tone for the Warriors in game two and now we head to Boston all even...

Nuggets: What is 44? The number of runs scored in the NCAA Baseball Tournament game between Oklahoma State and MIssouri State. Oklahoma State trailed 12-0 before winning 29-15. The nine inning game took five hours and one minute to play and featured 37 hits. Missouri State pitchers walked 17 batters and Oklahoma State's winning pitcher- Trevor Martin- tossed 126 pitches in 6.2 innings...Magic's VP of Basketball Operations Matt Lloyd is headed to Minnesota with the same title but more power as he joins Tim Connelly, who left Denver to take over the Timberwolves front office. Lloyd's time with the Magic goes back to 2012 and oversee the team's scouting department. It's not that the Magic can't figure out who to draft with the first pick later this month, but Lloyd was viewed around the NBA as being one of the best at what he did. Lloyd becomes a true number two with an NBA team...Wales beat Ukraine 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier and advances to the event for the first time in 64 years. They join the same group as the US, England and Iran. Wales is the third oldest organized football association in the world and dates back to 1876...When the Dodgers tried to use a position player to get the final three outs against the Mets down 9-4, they were informed of the MLB rule that bars position players from being allowed to pitch in games with deficits of five or less. Understand but hate the rule. What if a position player can really pitch and a team wants to use him? Remember when the best player on your youth team played shortstop and pitched? Someday those kids are coming back...Lobster Benedict at Maxine's for brunch will be the greatest brunch dish you will ever have...

Final note: The last Howard Johnson's restaurant closed. Lake George, New York was the site of the last location. At one point in the late 60s and early 70s the hotel chain had more than 1,000 diner style restaurants. There are 300 Howard Johnson hotels still operating and owned by Wyndham.

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