Dustin Johnson takes leave of absence from golf to seek "professional help"
By Sam Weinman
Dustin Johnson said he is taking an indefinite leave of absence from professional golf, announcing in a statement on Thursday he will be seeking "professional help for personal challenges I have faced."
The 30-year-old Johnson, who had brushes with the law when he was younger and whose lifestyle alongside fiancee Paulina Gretzky has been well-chronicled on social media, had already withdrawn from this week's Bridgestone Invitational, and will miss next week's PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Cub.
Johnson, who is currently fifth on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, has also informed the PGA of America he will not participate in the Ryder Cup matches this September. Since the top nine players automatically earn spots on the team, the 10th-ranked player will now qualify.
A photo posted by Gretzky on Monday showed Johnson caddieing for her. Gretzky has since taken down the photo from her Instagram account.
"By committing the time and resources necessary to improve my mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation, I am confident that I will be better equipped to fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion," Johnson said in the statement.