Dustin Johnson hasn’t kept the lowest profile during his “leave of absence” from golf, reportedly breaking Tiger Woods’ course record alongside future in-laws Wayne and Janet Gretzky at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and filing a lawsuit against a former friend and advisor for allegedly scamming him out of $3 million.
One area where Johnson has fallen off the radar is in his relationship with TaylorMade, where he’s signed on to be a product pitchman through 2015.
New TaylorMade CEO Ben Sharpe told Bloomberg News the company hasn’t had any contact with Johnson since he announced July 31 he was taking a leave of absence “to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced.” Golf.com reported the next day that Johnson had tested positive for cocaine, his third failed drug test, prior to announcing his "leave."
“Dustin is a great player and I think it’s important to hear from him about the process he’s going through, to hear about his plans and to have a conversation when that time is right,” Sharpe said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Sharpe was in New York City last week in part to debut TaylorMade’s R15 and AeroBurner Drivers. Johnson, second on the PGA Tour in driving distance in 2014, is one of the company's most visible endorsers.
“This year’s been a challenge for us," Sharpe told Golf.com. "In terms of our products, we need to evolve."
Whether or not that evolution includes Johnson remains to be seen.