Truth & Rumors: Dustin Johnson's manager denies drug rumors
Dustin Johnson hasn't played a Tour event since mid-March, and he surprised everyone when he withdrew from the Masters with what Johnson said was a back injury sustained while lifting a jet ski. Speculation on DJ's situation has run rampant in the interim, with a variety of conspiracy theorists suggesting he eloped, or more commonly, that he was serving a drug-related suspension. However, according to his agent, David Winkle, Johnson is legitimately injured and getting ready to resume play, according to Steve Elling at CBS Sports.
“Dustin is not serving a drug suspension,” Winkle said evenly. “I will make it clear -- he has been injured. He is playing golf again, he is very rusty but champing at the bit to get back out there.”
As of now, Johnson has committed to play the Memorial in two weeks, then Memphis, and then the U.S. Open in San Francisco. He currently ranks 21st in U.S. Ryder Cup points.
Players grabs big attendance and ratings
While TV ratings weren't through the roof for The Players Championship this past weekend, attendance went up big. According to tournament officials attendance numbers reached more than 162,000 for the week, up about 20 percent from last year's event. About 35,000 came to watch the Sunday action alone.
"A lot of things went right for us to have the week we did," Players executive director Matt Rapp said. "The temperatures were moderate, and we didn’t have the rain delay we had last year [on Saturday]. The hospitality areas we created or upgraded were huge hits. Military Appreciation Day was very popular once again [around 20,000 people were on the course Wednesday]. And we had a very popular guy with strong local ties in contention every day and eventually winning the tournament, and that always helps local interest."
TV ratings, while not nearly as impressive, looked to be pretty solid as well. Thursday's viewership was up about 5 percent over 2011, and ratings for Friday's telecast, which featured Tiger Woods playing late in the day, increased 86 percent over last year, making it the most watched early-round telecast since The Golf Channel started covering the tournament. Saturday's numbers were also up more than 50 percent over last year.
Feherty and the President
David Feherty sat down recently with President Bill Clinton. Check out this preview clip where Feherty asks Clinton, "What the hell would possess you to do this?"
Kaymer, Rose, Schwartzel and McDowell are top seeds in Euro Tour Match Play event
The Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesin near Marbella has some big names raring to take each other on this week including Sergio Garcia battling Alvaro Quiros, and Justin Rose taking on Robert Rock. The top ranked player in the event, Martin Kaymer, will play Rafael Cabrera-Bello in the first round. The unusual event features eight groups consisting of three players each. After a round robin the two top players in each group go on to a knock out round. Here's more salient info on the tournament:
The top 16 seeds are as follows (in group order):
(1) Martin Kaymer and (16) Rafael Cabrera Bello
(2) Justin Rose and (15) Robert Rock
(3) Charl Schwartzel and (14) Nicolas Colsaerts
(4) Graeme McDowell and (13) Robert Karlsson
(5) Sergio Garcia and (12) Alvaro Quiros
(6) Peter Hanson and (11) Paul Lawrie
(7) Brandt Snedeker and (10) Thomas Bjorn
(8) Ian Poulter and (9) John Senden
The remaining eight players (with world ranking positions in brackets) are: (65) Branden Grace, (66) Retief Goosen, (70) Darren Clarke, (119) Jbe Kruger, (126) Camilo Villegas, (133) Tetsuji Hiratsuka, (175) Tom Lewis, (218) Richard Finch.
The top 16 seeds are the only ones involved on Thursday and holder Poulter will start the action off against Senden at 12.05pm local time (1105 BST). The other eight players then have two games on Friday to decide the last 16.
Tweet of the Day
Media room at @hpbnc includes ping-pong table, foosball, Wii and a slushie machine. In related news, I'm moving in.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) May 15, 2012