Dustin Johnson to give Tokyo Olympics a miss

Dustin Johnson has decided to skip the Tokyo Olympics
Dustin Johnson has decided to skip the Tokyo Olympics
Kartik Iyer

What's the story?

One of America's top golfers, Dustin Johnson has decided to skip Tokyo Olympics 2020. The decision was taken in order to focus on the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

In case you didn't know...

Dustin Johnson is a leading American professional golfer and a former World No. 1. He attained the World No. 1 ranking in February 2017 and held on to the position for 64 consecutive weeks.

His biggest claim to fame was winning the US Open, one of the 4 golf majors, in 2016. He has also finished 2nd in each of the other 3 majors - Augusta Masters, PGA Championship and British Open.

He also holds the distinction of being the first player to have won each of the four World Golf Championship events - Mexico Championship, Match Play, St. Jude Invitational and HSBC Champions.

The heart of the matter

Dustin Johnson has become the first golf star to withdraw his name from the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The world No. 5 has decided to focus on the FedEx Cup playoffs rather than pursue a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The decision was conveyed by David Winkle, Johnson’s manager in a recent mail.

Dustin gave the Olympics a great deal of thought and we discussed the pros and cons of him participating at length.
At the end of the day, it's a matter of personal preference and priority. As much as he would be honoured to be an Olympian, the FedEx Cup Playoffs are also very important to him.
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 shortly after returning from two weeks in Europe].

Although there is an 11-day gap between the end of the golf event at the Tokyo Olympics and the start of the FedEx Cup, Johnson is not keen to embark on a lengthy international trip just before the FedEx Cup begins.

Based on the current World Golf Rankings, 4 Americans are likely to qualify for the Olympics. Brooks Koepka currently leads the pack, with Johnson in the third position.

Even Koepka had recently downplayed the importance of the Olympics as he considers golf’s four major championships and the FedEx Cup more important. Koepka also added that he would be taking a call on playing the Olympics at a later date.

We’ll see where everything else falls.

What's next?

With two of the top golfers in the world planning to skip the golf event at the Tokyo Olympics, it would certainly weaken the overall field.

However, this might just open up an opportunity for Tiger Woods (currently ranked 7th among the US golfers) to make it to the quadrennial sporting extravaganza.

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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