Johnson officially pulls out of Tokyo 2020 Olympics

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that Dustin Johnson is the first player to officially pull out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

After all, as the then-World No.2 and leading American he also made a last minute decision to pull out of the 2016 Olympics in Rio due to Zika virus concerns.

Dustin Johnson Dustin Johnson (Credit: Anthony Powter)

According to a report in Golfweek, the 35-year-old will be focussing on the FedEx Cup playoffs rather than chasing a gold medal in Japan.

“Dustin gave the Olympics a great deal of thought and we discussed the pros and cons of him participating at length,” said Johnson’s manager, David Winkle via email.

“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. I feel certain he would choose otherwise if the timing were different.”

Top 10 Olympic Rankings (w/c 2nd March 2020)

  • 1 Rory McIlroy
  • 2 Jon Rahm
  • 3 Brooks Koepka
  • 4 Justin Thomas
  • 5 Patrick Cantlay
  • 6 Adam Scott
  • 7 Webb Simpson
  • 8 Tommy Fleetwood
  • 9 Justin Rose
  • 10 Louis Oosthuizen

Johnson’s name has already been scrubbed from the Olympic rankings with Brooks Koepka replacing him as the leading American and is yet another player that is doubtful to tee it up in Tokyo judging by his previous comments on the matter.

Those also in doubt include World No.1 Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott, who both missed the 2016 Olympics. Scott has made it clear that he is ambivalent about the prospect and with the Coronavirus now in the mix and young children at home, it is hard to see him changing his mind.

Englishman Justin Rose won the gold medal in Rio with Henrik Stenson taking the silver and Matt Kuchar taking the bronze in the number three spot.

Qualifying for the 2020 Olympics ends on June 21st following the US Open with the Games officially kicking off July 24th.