DJ Comes Under Fire From Bjorn, Chamblee For Skipping Olympics

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more laid back character on the PGA Tour than Dustin Johnson.

The World No. 1’s outward demeanor as well as his matter-of-fact way of public speaking doesn’t make him ripe for media or fan criticism, and his level of play, especially over the past 13 months in which he’s won five times, including November 2020’s Masters Tournament, is beyond reproach.

However, DJ has found himself in the middle of a bit of a media storm over the past few days as a result of some comments he made following the third round of The Players Championship.

A cross-promotional graphic for this summer’s Olympic Games on the NBC telecast showed a list of the top contenders to represent the United States in men’s golf with Johnson’s name noticeably absent from the list with a caveat at the bottom saying that he had withdrawn himself from consideration.

After an unspectacular 1-over par third round, Johnson met with the media and confirmed what was shown on the broadcast.

 

“I really didn’t think much about it. I actually didn’t really ever decide whether I was going to play or not, I just didn’t sign up,” Johnson said. “But it’s right in the middle of a big stretch of golf for me, so that was the reason I was kind of waffling on it a little bit. It’s a long way to travel, and I think WGC (Memphis) is the week right after it. The British is a couple weeks before it. It’s a lot of traveling at a time where it’s important for me to feel like I’m focused playing on the PGA Tour.

“I think if there was a little more time, especially if you weren’t trying to fly right from Tokyo to Memphis and play WGC, yeah, I obviously definitely would have thought about it a lot more.”

Johnson’s apathy towards competing in the Olympics, especially considering he skipped the sport’s reintroduction five years ago in Brazil, was criticized by two prominent golf voices: former Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn and Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee. 

While Bjorn was measured and introspective about Johnson skipping, Chamblee’s critique, as it often is, was more cutting.

As it currently stands, according to Official World Golf Rankings guru Nosferatu, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele would represent the U.S.