NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Dustin Johnson became the most prominent player since golf resumed in June to test positive for the coronavirus, the result forcing him to withdraw from the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek on Tuesday.
The PGA Tour said in a statement that Johnson notified officials he was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and was given another test that came back positive.
Johnson is the No. 1 player in the world and the reigning PGA Tour player of the year after winning the FedEx Cup for the first time. He has not played since he tied for sixth at the U.S. Open last month.
“Obviously, I am very disappointed,” Johnson said in a statement. “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 appreciation all the support and guidance they have given me.”
Johnson did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Johnson is the 11th player to test positive since the PGA Tour resumed its schedule on June 8. It comes one week after Tony Finau, at No. 16 in the world, tested positive with minor symptoms and withdrew from the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.
Finau experienced symptoms last weekend, meaning he was eligible to be at Shadow Creek on Wednesday to start practicing. Instead, he chose to withdraw.
Johnson holds the course record at Shadow Creek after its latest renovation, posting a 7-under 65 five years ago while playing with hockey great Wayne Gretzky, the father of Johnson’s partner Paulina Gretzky.
Under the protocols on the PGA Tour, which are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johnson is to self-isolate for 10 days dating to when he first experienced symptoms and can return if there are no other symptoms.
That would leave open the possibility of Johnson playing next week at Sherwood, provided he would want to play having gone 10 days without being able to prepare.’
Most of the world’s best players are in Las Vegas and California for two weeks as part of their preparations for the Masters. Johnson is scheduled to play the Houston Open on Nov. 5-8 a week before the Masters.
EUROPEAN TOUR: South African golfer Jbe Kruger has been withdrawn from the field in this week’s Scottish Championship on the European Tour after testing positive for the coronavirus.
The tour says Kruger returned the positive test after a check on Monday as part of the pre-tournament screening process. He has not exhibited any symptoms. Kruger must isolate for a minimum 10 days in accordance with local guidelines in Scotland. The only contact to be identified was Kruger’s wife. She is also his caddie.
The Scottish Championship begins Thursday at the Fairmont St. Andrews resort.