Notebook: Long absence not hurting Dustin Johnson in world ranking

Dustin Johnson
Getty Images
Dustin Johnson was at No. 16 in the world after the Canadian Open when he announced he was stepping away from golf, but is now No. 15.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, November 04, 2014 | 7:25 p.m.
SHANGHAI – That voluntarily leave by Dustin Johnson certainly isn't hurting his position in the world ranking. 
 
Johnson was at No. 16 in the world after the Canadian Open when he announced he was stepping away from golf to seek professional help for "personal challenges." He is No. 15 in the world now. 
 
Johnson will start losing points, starting with the HSBC Champions. He won a year ago Sheshan International and is not back to defend. 
 
His agent at Hambric Sports, David Winkle, said Tuesday that Johnson is not expected back until sometime early next year. Johnson's fiance, Paulina Gretzky, is expecting their first child and Johnson won't play again until the baby is born. 
 
"They haven't announced when the baby is due yet," Winkle said. 
 
BACK ON THE BAG: For the first time in nearly five years, the AT&T logo can be found on a golf bag on the PGA Tour. 
 
It belongs to Jordan Spieth. 
 
Spieth showed up at the HSBC Champions with a black-and-orange golf bag promoting AT&T. He signed an endorsement deal with the Texas-based telecommunications giant earlier this year, and this was the first evidence of the logo while he was on the golf course. 
 
AT&T is one of the top supporters of the PGA Tour, with title sponsorship at Pebble Beach and the Byron Nelson on the PGA Tour, and a Champions Tour event in San Antonio. 
 
The last player AT&T endorsed on the PGA Tour was Tiger Woods. He had an AT&T bag when he returned from knee surgery early in 2009. The company ended its endorsement deal a month after revelations that Woods had multiple extramarital affairs. 
 
Spieth is playing for the first time since the Ryder Cup. He is headed back home to Dallas after the HSBC Champions, and then returning to Asia to play in the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan and then the Australian Open in Sydney before ending his year at the Hero World Challenge that Woods hosts in Florida. 
 
DIVOTS: Adam Scott is trying out another caddie this week at the HSBC Champions. He is using David Clark, who works for Cameron Tringale. ... Graeme McDowell says he will be joining a task force, only it has nothing to do with the Ryder Cup. McDowell says he has been asked by his alma mater, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, to be part of a group that studies the future of the football program. ... Tickets went on sale Tuesday for the British Open next year at St. Andrews. A daily ticket for adults will increase 5 pounds to 70 pounds (about $110) if bought before May 31, and to 80 pounds ($125) after that. Weekly tickets are available for 240 pounds ($380). A daily ticket went for 60 pounds ($95) in 2010 when The Open was last held at St. Andrews. ... Davis Love III tied for eighth in Malaysia, his first top 10 on the PGA Tour in two years. 
 
STAT OF THE WEEK: Graeme McDowell is the only player with top 10s in every World Golf Championship this year. He was a quarterfinalist at the Match Play Championship, tied for ninth at Doral and tied for eighth at Firestone. 
 
FINAL WORD: "I know one thing for sure. We can't have more than 52 tournaments." – Henrik Stenson on what the golf calendar will look like in 10 years.