PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson said Saturday that he will not participate in the men’s Olympic golf tournament in Tokyo this summer.
Citing the hectic schedule that surrounds this year’s Summer Games, postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, Johnson — the reigning FedEx Cup champion — said he prefers to concentrate on the PGA Tour.
“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 from the Players Championship, where he is out of contention. “It’s a long way to travel, and I think the WGC [World Golf Championship event] is the week right after it. The British is a couple weeks before.
“It’s a lot of traveling at a time where it’s important to feel like I’m focused playing on the PGA Tour.”
Johnson is the first American to announce he will not compete in the Olympics, which will take two players per country — but up to four for any nation that has players ranked among the top 15 in the world at the conclusion of the U.S. Open. There are currently 11 Americans ranked in the top 15.
The Open at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, is scheduled to end July 18, with the men’s Olympic golf tournament beginning just 11 days later, on July 29, and concluding on Aug. 1. The WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee, is scheduled to begin days later, on Aug. 5.
Two weeks later, the three-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs begin. The Ryder Cup, like the Olympics, was also postponed to 2021 because of the pandemic.
“I think if there was a little more time, especially if you weren’t trying to fly right from Tokyo to Memphis and play the WGC, I definitely would have thought about it a lot more,” Johnson said. “It was more a little more space between there, for sure.”
Johnson, who will defend his Masters title next month, had also decided last year not to compete in the 2020 Olympics, before the postponement.