Covid-hit Johnson to miss Zozo event

Covid-hit Johnson to miss Zozo event

LOS ANGELES • World No. 1 Dustin Johnson has pulled out of this week’s Zozo Championship in Los Angeles, the second straight event he has withdrawn from after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The 36-year-old is recovering after experiencing some Covid-19 symptoms but is still not well enough to resume playing competitive golf, his agent David Winkle said.

“While he is feeling much better, he is still a bit low on energy and feels it would be best to wait and resume his schedule in Houston,” Winkle told Golfweek.

The American also withdrew from last week’s CJ Cup tournament in Las Vegas. If he continues to get better, his next event will be the Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course from Nov 5 to 8.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Zozo Championship was moved to the Sherwood Country Club near Los Angeles after making its debut in Japan last year. Tiger Woods is the defending champion and is in the field.

The PGA Tour’s next event is the Bermuda Championship from Oct 29 to Nov 1. This year’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, to be played from Dec 3 to 6, has been cancelled because of travel restrictions amid the pandemic, organisers said on Monday.

Meanwhile, fans are in for a feast of matchplay golf between the best of the US and the cream of Europe, after it was announced on Monday that the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup will be played back-to-back for the first time in 2023.

Spain will host the women’s Solheim Cup US v Europe match for the first time at Finca Cortesin on the Costa del Sol from Sept 22-24, 2023, and the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club is the venue for Italy’s debut as a Ryder Cup host a week later.

Normally the women’s and men’s showdowns take place in alternate years. But when the 2020 Ryder Cup was postponed until next year by the pandemic, the knock-on effect was that Italy would host in 2023, giving officials the chance to coordinate dates to generate heightened interest.

“The fact it is also a first for both hosting nations simply adds to the anticipation,” said Keith Pelley, European Tour chief executive.

The next Solheim Cup is scheduled for Sept 4-6 next year at the Inverness Club in Ohio. The delayed Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits will be held from Sept 25-27 next year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS