dustin-johnson-2020-zozo.png
Getty Images

The No. 1 player in the world is withdrawing from a small-field, no-cut, big-money PGA Tour event for the second consecutive week as Dustin Johnson will not play the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Country Club one week after withdrawing from the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek. Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 last week before the CJ Cup, and his agent told ESPN that he’s too low on energy to play at Sherwood.

Johnson is not scheduled to play again until the Houston Open in two weeks, which is the week before the 2020 Masters. If he does play the Houston Open, it will be his only tournament played between the U.S. Open at Winged Foot and the Masters in November.

D.J. has arguably been the best player in the world over the last three months, winning three of his last nine events and finishing runner-up in two others. His absence, especially at events leading up to a monster like the Masters at Augusta National, is certainly felt. For him, however, the biggest objective right now is getting healthy and right for a bid at his first green jacket in three weeks.

The PGA Tour has encountered an unfortunate run on positive COVID-19 tests of late. Scottie Scheffler missed the U.S. Open in September because he tested positive, and now a pair of top-20 players — Johnson and Tony Finau — have tested positive within the last three weeks. 

Additionally, both the Bermuda Championship next week and the Houston Open after that will allow fans on a limited basis. This creates an interesting scenario for players who are planning on playing the Masters the week after Houston. What has been a mostly straightforward path toward safety and caution gets slightly more complicated ahead of the biggest golf tournament of the year.