News & Tours

Dustin Johnson's 2023 season off to rough start with WD at Saudi International

February 02, 2023

Eric Espada

Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the Saudi International after “tweaking his back” in the lead up to the first round.

Tournament officials from the $5 million Asian Tour event released a statement Thursday on behalf of Johnson, who won the event at Royal Greens club in 2019 and 2021.

“Two-time champion Dustin Johnson has unfortunately had to withdraw ahead of the first round of the PIF Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers after tweaking his back,” the statement read.

According to reports, the 2016 U.S. Open champion and 2020 Masters winner aggravated a back injury during a practice round at Royal Greens that also forced to pull out of Wednesday’s pro-am.

Johnson has previously had back injuries, notably one that forced him to withdraw from the 2017 Masters when he had won three times that year in the lead up to April and had arrived at Augusta as the World No. 1.

The 38-year-old Johnson is scheduled to play next at the LIV Golf League’s 2023 season opener at the Mayakoba Resort in Mexico on February 24.

Johnson left the PGA Tour, as a 24-time winner, for LIV Golf last summer—the rival circuit where he claimed $36 million in prize money and bonuses in its inaugural season. That included $18 million for winning LIV’s individual season-long points race and a quarter of the $16 million that his 4 Aces team bagged for taking out the teams prize.

The Saudi International is sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which finances LIV Golf.