Dustin Johnson Takes Leave of Absence from Golf: Latest News and Updates

R. Cory Smith@@RCorySmithSenior Writer IJuly 31, 2014

Dustin Johnson of the US plays his shot from the 4th tee during the final round of the British Open Golf championship at the Royal Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, Sunday July 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Updates from Friday, August 1

According to a report from Golf.com's Michael Bamberger and Michael Walker, Johnson is being suspended for six months due to a failed drug test:

Dustin Johnson is serving a six-month suspension from the PGA Tour after testing positive for cocaine, a source has told Golf.com.

According to the source, Johnson has failed three drug tests: one for marijuana in 2009 and two for cocaine, in 2012 and 2014. He was previously suspended for the 2012 failed test, but that suspension was never made public. Under the PGA Tour’s drug-testing policies, the Tour is not required to announce any disciplinary actions against players who test positive for recreational drugs.

However, the PGA has not commented on the report, per Bamberger and Walker:

The PGA Tour released a curt statement wishing Johnson well and saying it looked forward to his return. When asked directly about Johnson’s failed drug tests and suspension, Ty Votaw, executive vice president of the PGA Tour, said Friday that the Tour would have no further comment.

Original Text

On the heels of a disappointing finish at the RBC Canadian Open, Dustin Johnson has announced he is taking a leave of absence from golf.   

The No. 16 player in the world announced the news on Thursday, per Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel:

While he was cut at the Canadian Open, Johnson has put together a solid season. He has one win, seven top-10 finishes and is ranked fourth in the FedExCup standings

Of those top 10s, one came at the U.S. Open where Johnson tied for fourth. The American followed that up by tying for 12th at the British Open before the poor showing in Canada.

He has eight career tournament wins. He hasn't won a major yet, but he has seven top-10 finishes, including a second-place showing at the 2011 British Open. 

Sobel also provides more specifics and reaction from his manager:

Stephanie Wei of Sports Illustrated passes along her thoughts:

Last year, Johnson and now fiancee Paulina Gretzky announced they were engaged. The couple also stated they are planning a fall wedding for this year but did not have a date set.

Johnson's leave comes just days after he withdrew from the Bridgestone Invitational. He will also sit out of the PGA Championship, per Bob Harig of ESPN.

Apart from the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup is also coming up shortly. As it currently stands, Johnson is fifth in the rankings, but Johnson will not play in that competition either.

Sobel passes along some information about the scenario if Johnson earns an automatic berth to the Ryder Cup field:

This leaves the Ryder Cup field much more open moving forward. Several Americans, including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, will now have a chance to step up and take his spot.


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