Following his win last week at the Saudi International, Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Johnson is a two-time winner of this event and was the heavy favorite just two days ago, coming in at around 5-1 at a tournament where he was the only top-10 player in the field.
The loss for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am is a pretty big blow for an already-weak field. The next highest-ranked player is Patrick Cantlay, who is No. 11 in the world, and now there are only five top-50 players who will tee it up this week. Plus, Johnson was coming in on an absolute heater. He's won three of his last seven and four of his last 13. Data Golf gave him a 25% chance to make that five of his last 14 at Pebble Beach.
"Following his successful week in Saudi Arabia, Dustin has decided it would be best to enjoy a week at home before the Genesis Invitational and World Golf Championships at The Concession," Johnson's agent David Winkle said in a statement. "Other than being a bit jet lagged, he is feeling great and looking forward to the weeks ahead. While he is disappointed to miss the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which is always one of his favorite weeks, he feels his decision is for the best."
D.J.'s WD underscores the reality of Pebble's current position on the PGA Tour schedule. It's in a tough spot, and Johnson is not the only massive name who has decided not to play. Despite his success there, Riviera is next week, and then a monster Florida swing followed by the Masters. It's hard to play every week.
Yet, it would have been awesome to see a locked-in D.J. in a mediocre field. Consider that, over the last six months, the best player in this field has been Cantlay, who is now the 15/2 favorite and has gained 1.83 strokes on the field collectively over the last six months. At 3.75 strokes gained per round, D.J. has been more than twice as good as the second-best player at Pebble, which is just astonishing.
Alas, we'll have to wait until next week's big boy event at Riviera where Johnson will be joined by Rory McIlroy and several other huge names as they contend for what will be the biggest event of 2021 to date.