All one has had to do is watch Dustin Johnson over the past few months to see that he has been struggling with something. His body language has not been good for the majority of the season, even after winning the first World Golf Championship event back in October. It was apparent after the 30 year-old Johnson withdrew from The Bridgestone Invitational that something was wrong in his personal life.
Dustin and his agent, David Winkle from Hambric Sports Management released a statement on Thursday afternoon saying he would be taking a break from the PGA Tour in order to get his personal life in order, and would not be participating in the PGA Championship next week, or Ryder Cup festivities.
Johnson’s statement: “I am taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately. I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced. By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion.
“I respectfully ask my fans, well-wishers and the media for privacy as I embark upon this mission of self-improvement.
Johnson has made 17 starts this season and has had six top ten finishes to go along with his lone win at the WGC-HSBC Championship. He is currently ranked 4th in FedEx Cup points, 5th in Ryder Cup standings, and 16th in World Rankings.
With his departure from Ryder Cup competition, it will allow Patrick Reed to move into the ninth position with only the Bridgestone and PGA Championship remaining to set the field.
Obviously we are disappointed Dustin Johnson will not be playing in the PGA Championship or be a part of the 2014 Ryder Cup squad at Gleneagles,” PGA of America president Ted Bishop said in a statement. “Having spent time with Dustin at the last two Ryder Cups, we know he’s an amazingly talented young man capable of winning major championships and becoming a Ryder Cup staple for the next two decades. We wish Dustin the best and look forward to his return.”
Added U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson: “We will certainly miss Dustin Johnson at Gleneagles, and we wish him the best. As one of the longest hitters in the game with an undefeated record of 3-and-0 at Medinah in 2012, he has clearly been an asset for the United States team. That said, the United States is a team with an abundance of talent. I am looking forward to teeing it up alongside those players in the PGA Championship at Valhalla, and finding out along with everyone else, which players qualify for the team based on points.”
Let’s all hope that Dustin is able to get the help he needs to resume his golf career. He has won at least one tournament in each year since joining the tour, and will be sorely missed on Team USA in Scotland.
Dustin Johnson is one of the finest talents on the PGA Tour, and we all wish him the best in getting his life back on track, and is able to return soon!