Updates from Friday, August 1
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.
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:
Breaking news from Dustin Johnson: "I am taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately."— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 31, 2014
More from Dustin Johnson: "I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced."— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 31, 2014
PGA Tour statement on Dustin Johnson: "We wish him well and look forward to his return to the PGA Tour in the future."— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 31, 2014
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:
Statement from Dustin Johnson doesn't get into specifics, nor does it hint at how long his leave of absence will be.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 31, 2014
After his withdrawal from this week's event, Dustin Johnson's manager texted me with this vague explanation: "Just some personal stuff."— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 31, 2014
Stephanie Wei of Sports Illustrated passes along her thoughts:
Dustin Johnson is taking a leave of absence from golf. "Leave of absence"? Interesting. Similar situation before Masters a few years ago.— Stephanie Wei (@StephanieWei) July 31, 2014
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:
Dustin Johnson officially out of the Ryder Cup. If he qualifies, 10th on the points list gets in. Right now, that's Patrick Reed.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 31, 2014
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