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Golf 2023: Paulina Gretzky defends Dustin Johnson’s $180 million defection to LIV Golf, Full Swing Netflix documentary

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Paulina Gretzky knows Dustin Johnson best.

The model appears in the new Netflix golf docuseries, “Full Swing,” which follows the sport’s biggest names including Johnson, and explained why her husband — a Masters and U.S. Open champion — stunningly defected to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf in June.

“I don’t think Dustin would ever make bad choice for his children and people have to understand at the end of the day, that’s who he chose this for,” said Gretzky, who shares two sons with Johnson — 8-year-old Tatum and River, 5.

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“Of course, I get what everyone’s 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’m like, ‘Why does my dad have to play on my birthday?’ This is about Dustin and the kids and me and taking care of us and being there with us.”

Gretzky — who tied the knot with Johnson in April — went on to denounce any narrative that her husband has lost his competitive spirit after leaving the PGA Tour.

“If anyone thinks that Dustin has lost his competitive spirit, then they don’t know Dustin well enough because he is still ready to show you who the f*** he is,” Gretzky said.

“There is a reason why he’s going back to play these majors. He wants to win just as much as they do.”

When Johnson defected to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, he explained at the time that he made the decision for his family. He reiterated that while discussing his decision in “Full Swing.”

“I’ve had a wonderful career on the PGA Tour and I’m very proud of it, and always will be,” Johnson said.

“Obviously now I’ve taken kind of a different step in my life and career.”

Johnson spoke about a “different vibe” that LIV Golf has, such as playing music on the range, though he ultimately made the move when LIV approached him with an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“The decision to join LIV finally just came down to the offer they made me. For me, it was playing less, making more money, pretty simple,” Johnson said.

The 38-year-old Johnson was reportedly paid A$181 million to defect to LIV Golf and earned over A$50 million in winnings in its inaugural season.

When asked if he believes people doubt him because of his move to LIV, Johnson said: “I don’t really care.

“I know that I’m one of the best golfers in the world. I think I’ve proven it over a long period of time. When I show up to 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 already kind of set, so I don’t think there is anything to prove.”

This article originally appeared in the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.

Story Credit: news.com.au

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