- Senior golf writer for ESPN.com
- Covered golf for more than 20 years
- Earned Evans Scholarship to attend Indiana University
No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from this week’s CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas after testing positive for COVID-19.
Johnson, according to the PGA Tour, was experiencing symptoms, prompting him to take a test. Players are tested prior to travel each week and on-site as part of the PGA Tour’s COVID-19 testing protocols.
“Obviously, I am very disappointed,” said Johnson, a 23-time PGA Tour winner who captured the Tour Championship and thus the FedEx Cup title last month. “I was really looking forward to competing this week but will do everything I can to return as quickly as possible. I have already had a few calls with the tour’s medical team and appreciate all the support and guidance they have given me.”
According to David Winkle, Johnson’s agent at Hambric Sports, the golfer took an on-site test Sunday that was negative. But he started feeling symptoms on Sunday night, stayed away from the course Monday and didn’t feel better Tuesday, so he took a test that came back positive.
Because the symptoms began on Sunday, it is possible that Johnson could return at next week’s Zozo Championship as long as his symptoms have subsided. He would not be able to practice on site prior to the tournament.
Johnson has not played since he finished tied for sixth at the U.S. Open last month. It is also possible he could play at the Houston Open the week prior to the Masters, which is Nov. 12-15.
Johnson has been one of the most consistent players in the game of late, having tied for sixth in his last start at the U.S. Open, winning the Tour Championship, finishing second at the BMW Championship, winning the Northern Trust and also posting a tie for second at the PGA Championship. He will be among the favorites at the Masters next month. Johnson becomes the second player in consecutive weeks to test positive for COVID-19.
Tony Finau withdrew from last week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open due to a positive test. He also withdrew from the CJ Cup field and has been replaced by Robby Shelton.
The PGA Tour has had a successful return to competition following a 13-week shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Johnson is the 15th player who the tour has announced as having tested positive. Prior to Finau, two players tested positive at the U.S. Open, but there had been a six-week stretch of no positive cases prior to that.
J.T. Poston was the first alternate and replaces Johnson in the 78-player field.
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