Dustin Johnson

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Dustin Johnson wonders if Olympic golf will properly fit into his schedule

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Dustin Johnson, the world’s fifth-ranked golfer, said he isn’t sure the Tokyo Olympics will fit well into his schedule, assuming he qualifies for what will be a very competitive U.S. team of four.

“Obviously representing the United States in the Olympics is something that, you know, definitely be proud to do,” he said when asked if the Ryder Cup and the Olympics are goals this year. “But is it going to fit in the schedule properly? I’m not really sure about that, because there’s so many events that are right there and leading up to it. So you know, I’m still working with my team to figure out what’s the best thing for me to do.”

Johnson, the 2016 U.S. Open winner and world No. 1 in 2017 and 2018, is the third-highest ranked American at the moment behind Brooks Koepka (who also spoke about the Olympics on Tuesday, saying they’re not as important as majors) and Justin Thomas.

Johnson is ranked one spot ahead of Tiger Woods, who has voiced intent to play in Tokyo should he qualify.

But the current world rankings, based on a two-year, rolling window of results, do not exactly mirror Olympic qualifying, which takes into account only results after the 2018 U.S. Open. Rankings guru @VC606 on Twitter has Thomas, Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay as the current U.S. top four in Olympic qualifying. Woods is fifth and Johnson seventh.

The cutoff to determine the Olympic field of 60 golfers overall is after the U.S. Open in June.

The Olympic golf tournament is July 30-Aug. 2. There is no PGA Tour event that weekend. The FedEx Cup Playoffs start two weeks after the Olympics. Last season, Johnson did not play the tournaments that will immediately precede and follow the Olympics — the 3M Open and the Wyndham Championship.

Johnson did qualify for the Rio Olympics but withdrew a month before the Games, citing Zika virus concerns as other golfers did.

“This was not an easy decision for me, but my concerns about the Zika virus cannot be ignored,” Johnson said in a statement at the time. “[Wife] Paulina and I plan to have more children in the near future, and I feel it would be irresponsible to put myself, her or our family at risk.”

Paulina gave birth to their second son in June 2017.

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Dustin Johnson: I would have played if Olympics weren’t in Rio

Dustin Johnson
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TROON, Scotland (AP) — Dustin Johnson is blaming it on Rio.

The U.S. Open champion withdrew from the Olympics late last week because of concerns over the Zika virus. He says the PGA Tour did a good job informing him of risks and making him feel comfortable, but that his family’s health was more important.

Johnson says if the Games were in Tokyo this year, he would have played. He says he wanted to play in Rio de Janeiro, but he and fiancee Paulina Gretzky are going to have more children.

He says “I know the risk is very lower, but if something were to happen, I’d never forgive myself for that.”

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Dustin Johnson to skip Olympics due to Zika concern

Dustin Johnson
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Dustin Johnson became the third player ranked in the top four in the world to say he will skip golf’s return to the Olympics due to Zika virus concerns.

“As an athlete, I can think of no greater honor than representing the United States in the Olympic Games,” Johnson said in a statement Friday night, according to Golf Channel. “However, after much careful consideration and discussion with both my family and my team, I have made the decision to withdraw from the 2016 Olympic Games. This was not an easy decision for me, but my concerns about the Zika virus cannot be ignored. [Wife] Paulina and I plan to have more children in the near future, and I feel it would be irresponsible to put myself, her or our family at risk.”

Johnson, ranked No. 2 in the world, joins world No. 1 Jason Day of New Zealand and No. 4 Rory McIlroy of Ireland in opting out of the Rio Games due to Zika concerns. Golf returns to the Olympics after a 112-year absence.

Johnson is the first American currently in Olympic qualifying position to say he will skip Rio. World No. 3 Jordan Spieth has not decided if he will play.

The Olympic golf field will be determined by world rankings on Monday.

With Johnson out, the top four U.S. golfers are Spieth, No. 5 Bubba Watson, No. 7 Rickie Fowler and No. 13 Patrick Reed.

If any of them withdraw, No. 15 Matt Kuchar would be next up, should he not fall in the rankings Monday. No American ranked outside the top 15 can play in Rio due to country maximum limits.

MORE: First elite women’s golfer withdraws from Olympics, cites Zika