PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – World No. 1 Dustin Johnson will not represent the red, white and blue in the Summer Games in Tokyo.
Johnson said Saturday following his third round in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass his schedule will keep him from trying to win a gold medal.
“It’s right in the middle of a big stretch of golf for me, so that was the reason I was kind of waffling on it a little bit,” Johnson said. “It’s a lot of traveling at a time where it’s important for me to feel like I’m focused playing on the PGA Tour.”
Johnson pointed out that the British Open is July 15-18 at Royal St. George’s in England, which is 11 day before the men’s competition in the Olympics is scheduled to begin at Kasumigaseki Country Club, 35 miles north of Tokyo.
Players Championship: Leaderboard | Photos
Four days after the men’s competition ends in Japan, the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational begins in Memphis.
Then the FedEx Cup Playoffs begin two weeks after Memphis.
“I think if there was a little more time (between tournaments), especially if you weren’t trying to fly right from Tokyo to Memphis and play a WGC, yeah, I obviously definitely would have thought about it a lot more,” Johnson said.
The top 15 players in the Olympic Golf Rankings the day after the U.S. Open ends in June are eligible for the Olympics. A country’s representation is limited to four players. The field will be set at 60 players.
With Johnson opting out, World No. 3 Justin Thomas, No. 4 Collin Morikawa, No. 5 Xander Schauffele and No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau lead the standings for the U.S. Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau and Daniel Berger are also ranked in the top 15.
As for Johnson’s play in the Players, he’s shot 73-70-73 and stands well down on the leaderboard. In Saturday’s third round, his tee shot on the par-3 17th hit the flagstick on the fly and rolled into the water.
.@DJohnsonPGA goes right at the pin on 17 …
and into the water. 💦 pic.twitter.com/DaBfMQCdxQ
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 13, 2021
“That just sums up my week right there,” he said. “I felt like I’m playing good, just not scoring very well, missing some short putts. I feel like I’m swinging good, I’m hitting some good shots, just making some mental mistakes.
“Just need to get a little more focused on what I’m doing and what I’m trying to do.”