HONOLULU – Dustin Johnson hit enough 350-yard drives and made enough clutch putts in winning the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions to make his fellow competitors feel sick.
This time, it was Johnson who became queasy.
After nine holes in his second round of the Sony Open, Johnson withdrew with flu-like symptoms.
Following an opening-round even-par 70, he was 3 over for the day with three bogeys and a double on Waialae Country Club’s front nine.
“I feel like I'm coming down with whatever my caddie [Bobby Brown] has got,” Johnson explained. “Just not feeling well. Stomach hurts, headache, tired.”
Perhaps the most interesting part of Johnson’s withdrawal is that just six rounds into the PGA Tour season, he is no longer eligible for the Vardon Trophy. The award, given at season’s end to the player with the lowest scoring average, stipulates that anyone who has withdrawn from a tournament mid-round becomes automatically ineligible for qualification.
Last year, Tiger Woods excused himself from the competition early as well, because of a final-round WD at the WGC-CA Championship.