D. Johnson won't defend WGC-HSBC title


Dustin Johnson will not return to China to defend his title next week at the WGC-HSBC Champions, his manager confirmed to GolfChannel.com on Friday.

David Winkle with Hambric Sports said that Johnson likely won’t play again until next year, after his fiancée Paulina Gretzky gives birth to the couple’s first child. Winkle said Johnson is hitting golf balls in south Florida and working out.

“He’s doing great,” Winkle said.

Johnson announced in September that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from golf to deal with some “personal challenges." A day later, Golf.com reported he had been suspended by the PGA Tour for failing his third drug test.

Both Johnson and the Tour denied the report.

Johnson won last year’s WGC-HSBC Champions by three strokes over Ian Poulter, but hasn’t played since the RBC Canadian Open in late July.