Dustin Johnson denies having cocaine problem, admits to excessive drinking
Dustin Johnson says he did not have a cocaine problem that led him to take a leave of absence from the PGA Tour, though he does admit he had a problem with excessive drinking.
Johnson has not played on tour since taking a leave of absence for personal reasons back in late July. Though Johnson said his absence was due to personal reasons, reports said he received a six-month suspension from the tour because of multiple positive drug tests.
In an interview with Golf.com, DJ denied leaving the tour because of a cocaine problem.
“I did not have a problem,” Johnson told Golf.com when asked about the cocaine reports. “It’s just something I’m not going to get into. I have issues. But that’s not the issue.”
The article revealed that Johnson plans to return to the tour next month, which just so happens to be six months after he took his leave (aka it coincides with the end of his reported suspension).
The interview aimed to repair Johnson’s image as he prepares to return to the tour. It paints him as a person who made mistakes during his youth but is maturing and working hard to grow up. Johnson and his fiancee Paulina Gretzky are expecting their first child in the coming weeks, and that has the golfer thinking about living his life as a better role model.
One change Johnson has made is eliminating excessive drinking. Johnson says he used to deal with his problems by drinking and partying. He says it was not the frequency of his drinking that was the issue, but rather the amount he drank the times he did consume.
“My way of getting rid of it was drinking or partying,” Johnson told Golf.com. “I don’t miss waking up with a hangover, and I didn’t drink very often. It was just when I did it was a little too much.”
Johnson says he used to drink vodka and soda and says he entered a contest with his soon-to-be father-in-law Wayne Gretzky and others about who could go a month without drinking. DJ says he has gone through January without drinking.
Is Johnson a changed man with an improved work ethic? Maybe impressive results on tour will show us. Johnson could be back on TV as early as two weeks from now in Torrey Pines.