American golfer Dustin Johnson’s shock announcement he’s to take indefinite leave from the sport to sort out personal issues, deals a massive blow to the USA’s Ryder Cup aspirations.
In a statement Johnson said: ‘I am taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately. I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced.
Johnson made the announcement after the first-round at the Bridgestone Invitational tournament and will not play at the PGA Championship or join the US team at Gleneagles in September.
The Americans will be hoping that they can reverse a two-match Ryder Cup losing streak in Scotland but losing one of their best players is an obvious dent to their 5/4-rated chances.
Johnson’s previous two experiences of the Ryder Cup have seen him win his singles matches on both occasions, while at Medinah in 2012, he went 3-0 after winning both his four-ball and foursome matches as well.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson said: “We will certainly miss Dustin Johnson at Gleneagles, and we wish him the best. As one of the longest hitters in the game with an undefeated record of 3-and-0 at Medinah in 2012, he has clearly been an asset for the United States team.
DJ, who has become one of the stars of the PGA Tour in recent years, currently sits fourth in the FedEx Cup standings and fifth in Ryder Cup points accrued – the top 10 of which qualify automatically.
Regularly tipped among the leading contenders for major championships, this season got off to the best possible start, where he won the prestigious WGC-HSBC Champions.
The man who ranks second in driving distance on the PGA Tour has since turned in six other top 10s and recently went close at both the US and British Opens.
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