Dustin Johnson Talks PGA Tour's COVID-19 Precautions, Wayne Gretzky and More

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2020

Wayne Gretzky, left, and Dustin Johnson wait on the sixth green of the Monterey Peninsula County Club Shore Course during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

Dustin Johnson, the sixth-ranked golfer in the world, credited the PGA Tour on Wednesday for its efforts to create a safe playing environment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Johnson was asked by ESPN's Mike Greenberg on Get Up about his experience after playing in the first two events of the Tour's restart, the Charles Schwab Challenge and RBC Heritage, in recent weeks.

"I think the Tour is doing a great job with all the things they have—all the precautions that we have to take," he said. "We do get tested pretty regularly. Inside we're wearing masks and we're not supposed to have any contact. So I think they're doing a great job. Unfortunately, some people are still going to test positive and they're not gonna be allowed to compete."

Johnson's comments come after two players, four-time major champion Brooks Koepka and 2010 U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell, withdrew from this week's Travelers Championship after their caddies tested positive for COVID-19.

Cameron Champ was removed from the field after he became the second PGA Tour player to test positive for the coronavirus. Nick Watney tested positive during the RBC Heritage last week and was taken out of the tournament before the second round.

Players who test positive face a mandatory 10-day quarantine and will be disqualified from the current tournament if they contract COVID-19.

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Meanwhile, Johnson, the son-in-law of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, discussed what he's learned while spending time with one of the greatest athletes in history on Get Up.

"Wayne's just an incredible person and obviously he's great to be around. I love spending as much time as I can around him," Johnson said. "What he did in his sport it's arguably—dominated more than any athlete ever. For me, just to be around him, learn how he handles himself, why he was so good, which is 'cause he worked harder than everyone else, it's very special and I'm very lucky."

Greenberg also asked the 2016 U.S. Open champion about the status of Tiger Woods' swing after an impressive showing in Capital One's "The Match: Champions for Charity" golf exhibition last month.

"I mean, it's Tiger so you always expect him to play really well, but yeah he's definitely swinging the club well," Johnson said. "He looks like he's moving really well. He's healthy. So I wouldn't expect anything but him to play well [when he returns to Tour play]."

Woods and Peyton Manning defeated Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in the match. The 15-time major champion hasn't played any PGA Tour rounds since the restart, though.

Johnson is in the field for this week's Travelers. He'll tee off the opening round Thursday at 12:40 p.m. ET alongside Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.  

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