PGA Tour insist Dustin Johnson 'has not been suspended'
Last Updated: 02/08/14 1:30pm
The PGA Tour insist that Dustin Johnson has not been suspended, or facing any sanctions, following the 30-year-old’s decision to take a break from the game for personal reasons.
Johnson made the announcement on Thursday saying he needs to “seek professional help for personal challenges,” leading to rumours that the Tour had slapped a penalty on the popular American professional.
But from their headquarters in Florida, the Tour stressed this was not the case saying in a statement: "With regard to media reports that Dustin Johnson has been been suspended by the PGA Tour, this is to clarify that Mr Johnson has taken a voluntary leave of absence and is not under any suspension from the PGA Tour."
Johnson’s shock decision means he will not play in next week’s final major of the year – the USPGA Championship – or next month’s Ryder Cup match at Gleneagles in Scotland.
As a friend of Dustin, I hope he seeks the proper help and that he can get his head straight and get back to playing great golf again. Until someone in authority tells us what the deal is there is going to be a lot of speculation.
Johnson’s original statement had read: "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 fulfil my potential.
"I respectfully ask my fans, well-wishers and the media for privacy as I embark upon this mission of self-improvement."
The Tour have since been criticised for not being more transparent following confusion surrounding the status of the world No 16.
Butch Harmon, an analyst for Sky Sports, had earlier told the channel: "One of the problems that the Tour has is that if they do impose sanctions, they don't tell anybody about it.
"I think that's not good either so the speculation and the rumours will continue to go on. I think DJ has made his statement and that's pretty much all we're going to hear from him.
"As a friend of Dustin, I hope he seeks the proper help and that he can get his head straight and get back to playing great golf again. Until someone in authority tells us what the deal is there is going to be a lot of speculation."
And Europe’s Ryder Cup skipper Paul McGinley said following Johnson’s statement: "PGA Tour policy is to keep things in house and give away very few details.
“But it's a very risky policy because now you've gone from controlling the situation to reacting to events as they happen, which is not where you want to be."