American star Dustin Johnson has revealed he will take a break from golf to seek “professional help for personal challenges” and will not feature in the Ryder Cup.
Johnson, who is ranked number 16 in the world, will start his sabbatical with immediate effect and will miss the forthcoming US PGA Championship and the FedEx Cup Series.
Johnson has been in good form and was on course to qualify for Tom Watson’s team as he is currently fifth in the US points standings, with the top nine definitely heading to Gleneagles.
A statement from Johnson’s management company read: “I am taking a leave of absence from professional golf, effective immediately. 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 fulfil my potential and become a consistent champion.
“I respectfully ask my fans, well-wishers and the media for privacy as I embark upon this mission of self-improvement.”
The development comes as a big blow to the USA as Johnson picked up three points at Medinah two years ago and although he is disappointed to be without him, Watson says they have the talent to cope in the Ryder Cup.
“We will certainly miss Dustin Johnson at Gleneagles and we wish him the best,” he said.
“As one of the longest hitters in the game with an undefeated record of 3-0 at Medinah in 2012, he has clearly been an asset for the United States team.
“That said, the United States is a team with an abundance of talent. I am looking forward to teeing it up alongside those players in the PGA Championship at Valhalla, and finding out along with everyone else which players qualify for the team based on points.”