- The world’s #1 ranked golfer Dustin Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19.
- He has withdrawn from this weekend’s 2020 CJ Cup.
- He is expected to miss some more time in advance of the 2020 Masters, postponed to mid-November this year.
Relatively speaking, golf has done a decent job soldiering a long in the COVID-19 era. There’s a lot working for it–social distancing is easier to maintain when you’re playing in a large space outdoors. It’s even easier to maintain when you don’t allow fans or allow them in very limited numbers.
The PGA hasn’t been able to eliminate COVID-19 issues, however, and today they got dealt a big one: World #1 player Dustin Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, he’ll be withdrawing from this week’s CJ Cup at Shadow Creek. The PGA announced the positive test result and withdrawal in a statement released earlier today:
PGA TOUR member Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK after testing positive for COVID-19. Experiencing symptoms, Johnson notified PGA TOUR officials and was administered a test, with the positive result forcing his withdrawal from the event.
Johnson, who last competed at the U.S. Open, will have the PGA TOUR’s full support throughout his self-isolation period under CDC guidelines.
The statement also offered these comments from Johnson:
“Obviously, I am very disappointed. 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.”
Johnson is easily the highest profile golfer to test positive for COVID-19 since the sport returned following a hiatus at the start of the pandemic. Last week, Top 20 player Tony Finau tested positive for COVID-19 but generally speaking the PGA Tour has done a solid job keeping players healthy. There have been some isolated positives among players and caddies here and there but nothing approximating a significant outbreak.
There is four weeks until the 2020 Masters and the hope is that Johnson will be healthy enough to play in the final major of 2020. Precluding some sort of unexpected setback, there’s every reason to think he’ll be in the field at Augusts National in mid November.
The PGA Tour did have some good news this week as Brooks Koepka will play at the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek. He has not played a tour event since he missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship in August. He took the time off to rehab his left knee which has been an ongoing issue since he re-injured it slipping on wet concrete at last year’s CJ Cup which was held in South Korea.