Dustin Johnson Drops Out of World’s Top 50 for First Time Since 2010

Dustin Johnson, the world number one golfer, is set to drop out of the world's top 50 ranking for the first time since January 2010.[0] The American has been inside the world's top 50 for over 13 consecutive years, and his current ranking of 50th is a 13-year low.[1]

DJ's decision to leave the PGA Tour for LIV Golf last year is widely seen as the primary cause for his drop in the rankings. The move, however, has been incredibly beneficial for Johnson financially, earning him more than $35 million in the league's inaugural season, where he went on to win both the individual and team titles.[2]

Rory McIlroy, the incumbent world No. 1, has always been vocal about his opinion on athletes leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.[0] Last year, when asked about the struggles of LIV Golf's ranking, McIlroy said, “I certainly would want the best players in the world ranked accordingly.”[1] He went on to say, “I think if Dustin Johnson is somewhere around 100th in the world it’s not an accurate reflection of where he is in the game. But at the same time, you can’t make up your own rules. There’s criteria there, everyone knows what they are and if they want to pivot to meet the criteria they can. I’ve not problem with them getting World Ranking points at all but you have to meet the criteria. If you don’t it’s hard to justify why you should have them.”[0]

DJ has won 24 times on the PGA Tour, including at the Masters and the U.S. Open, and has spent a cumulative 135 weeks as World No.1, the third-longest spell since the OWGR's inception in 1986.[2] He is now down at 51st in the world rankings and is projected to fall outside of the top 50 next week.[1]

Ultimately, DJ's career has been incredibly successful, but his drop in the rankings reflects the financial decisions he's made, as well as the criteria that's needed to be met in order to stay in the top 50.

0. “Dustin Johnson Set To Face a Massive Setback Just Weeks Before LIV Golf Appearance” EssentiallySports, 7 Feb. 2023, https://www.essentiallysports.com/golf-news-dustin-johnson-set-to-face-a-massive-setback-just-weeks-before-liv-golf-appearance

1. “Dustin Johnson On Brink Of Falling Out Top 50 For First Time In 13 Years” Golf Monthly, 7 Feb. 2023, https://www.golfmonthly.com/news/dustin-johnson-on-brink-of-falling-out-top-50-for-first-time-in-13-years

2. “Dustin Johnson WDs from Saudi International with back injury ahead of LIV Golf season opener” Yahoo Sports, 2 Feb. 2023, https://sports.yahoo.com/dustin-johnson-wds-from-saudi-international-with-back-injury-ahead-of-liv-golf-season-opener-204329166.html