Dustin Johnson takes a break from golf ‘to seek professional help for personal challenges’


(Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports)

Dustin Johnson was having a pretty good season, at least as far as most outsiders could tell. He tied for 12th two weeks ago at the British Open and was a shoe-in to make the Ryder Cup. That’s no longer the case for the 30-year-old eight-time PGA Tour winner who announced Thursday via a statement that he would be “taking a leave of absence from professional golf effective immediately.” The statement goes on (via ESPN):

“I will use this time to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced. 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 fulfill my potential and become a consistent champion.”

As far as details go, neither Johnson nor his representatives elaborated, except to say that he would no longer vie for a Ryder Cup spot. CBS Sports reports Patrick Reed will likely now join the team.

Of course, while Johnson could be taking a break for any number of reasons, the Twitterverse offered up a few speculative answers about why Johnson is leaving. Some blame his girlfriend Paulina, Wayne Gretzky’s daughter.

Others guess that maybe some sort of substance is involved:

And even more blame all of the above:

Whatever the reason — and it could have nothing to do with any of social media’s conclusions — many golf fans are hoping Johnson returns to the links sooner than later.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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