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Dustin Johnson became the first player to announce he wouldn’t play this year’s Olympics, according to Golfweek.com.
Johnson’s manager, David Winkle, confirmed that the world’s fifth-ranked player plans to focus on the FedExCup playoffs, which begin a week after the men’s Olympic competition in August.
“Dustin gave the Olympics a great deal of thought and we discussed the pros and cons of him participating at length,” Winkle wrote in an e-mail to Golfweek.
“At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference and priority. As much as he would be honored 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 and feels that he wouldn’t be giving himself the best opportunity to do so if he added lengthy international trip just prior to their beginning (and shortly after returning from two weeks in Europe).”
This year’s schedule includes The Open in late July in England followed by the men’s Olympic competition the last week of July. The FedExCup postseason begins Aug. 13 at The Northern Trust in Norton, Massachusetts.
The U.S. currently has four players qualified for the Games, including Johnson. If he doesn’t play the Olympics, he would be replaced by the next American in the rankings (currently, that’s Patrick Reed).
Brooks Koepka was recently asked about playing in the Olympics, and he didn’t sound completely committed: “We’ll see where everything else falls,” he said.