(Reuters) – Former world number one Dustin Johnson will skip this year’s Tokyo Olympics to focus on the PGA Tour’s season-ending playoffs, his manager has told Golfweek.
Johnson, who withdrew from the 2016 Rio Games over concerns about the Zika virus, is the first highly-ranked player to take a pass on the July 24-Aug. 9 Olympics, an event that has had a shadow cast over it because of the spreading coronavirus.
“Dustin gave the Olympics a great deal of thought and we discussed the pros and cons of him participating at length,” Johnson’s manager, David Winkle, said in Monday’s report.
“At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference and priority. As much as he would be honored to be an Olympian, the FedEx Cup Playoffs are also very important to him.”
World number five Johnson was in position to be one of the four American golfers at the July 30-Aug. 2 men’s Olympic golf tournament but the former U.S. Open champion does not want to overextend himself.
Johnson, 35, will compete in the July 16-19 British Open while the first FedEx Cup playoff event begins on Aug. 13 in Boston, 11 days after the men’s tournament in Tokyo ends.
“Having had a few close calls in the playoffs, he really wants to win them before his time is done and feels that he wouldn’t be giving himself the best opportunity to do so if he added a lengthy international trip just prior to their beginning (and soon after returning from two weeks in Europe),” Winkle added.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)