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    • Dustin Johnson to take leave of absence

    • Dustin Johnson has one win and six other top-10s in 17 starts this season. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)Dustin Johnson has one win and six other top-10s in 17 starts this season. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    Dustin Johnson, in a statement issued Thursday, said he is taking a break from competing on the PGA TOUR.

    Johnson's statement: "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 fulfill 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 PGA TOUR also issued a statement on Thursday regarding Johnson: "We have nothing to add to Dustin's statement, but we wish him well and look forward to his return to the PGA TOUR in the future."

    David Winkle, president of Hambric Sports Management, which represents Johnson, told the PGA of America that Johnson will not participate in next week's PGA Championship nor take part in the Ryder Cup in late September in Scotland.

    Johnson currently ranks fifth in Ryder Cup points for the U.S. team. The top nine players in points after the PGA Championship earn automatic spots on the team. If Johnson remains in the top nine after next week, his absence means the player ranked 10th in points will gain an automatic spot.

    “Obviously we are disappointed Dustin Johnson will not be playing in the PGA Championship or be a part of the 2014 Ryder Cup squad at Gleneagles," PGA of America president Ted Bishop said in a statement. "Having spent time with Dustin at the last two Ryder Cups, we know he’s an amazingly talented young man capable of winning major championships and becoming a Ryder Cup staple for the next two decades. We wish Dustin the best and look forward to his return.”

    Added U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson: "We will certainly miss Dustin Johnson at Gleneagles, and we wish him the best. As one of the longest hitters in the game with an undefeated record of 3-and-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."

    Johnson has made 17 starts this season, with one win at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and six other top-10s.

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