‘I’m Not In’: When Dustin Johnson’s Blunt Reply Put Rory McIlroy in an Embarrassing Situation

Published 11/23/2022, 3:00 PM EST
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 08: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Dustin Johnson of the United States prepare to play form the fourth tee during a practice round prior to The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The odds of Rory McIlroy crashing in on Dustin Johnson during a PGA Tour event may be very shy now due to Johnson’s move to LIV Golf. However, it was a different case last year when both men had the same Tour card. During the 2021 CJ Cup, the world number one daggered into DJ and also sarcastically trolled him with a question.

McIlroy has been impressive in recent months, because of which he has claimed back his number one position in the world of golf. However, the great run of form existed even last year when he won the CJ Cup.


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Nonetheless, he happened to meet his then-fellow Tour star, Dustin Johnson, a few days before his triumph in Las Vegas in 2021. Let’s take a look at what both golfers talked about.

What did Rory McIlroy ask Dustin Johnson?

The Northern Irish star was looking to kickstart his 2021-22 season with a win at CJ Cup. However, as he was mentally focused on the tournament, he happened to share the breakfast table with 2 time Major winner, Dustin Johnson, two days before the commencement of the event.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 25: Dustin Johnson of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland play a shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the WGC – HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on October 25, 2018 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images)

McIlroy, who is popular for having a witty character, decided to poke fun at DJ. “Oh, are you going to start in Maui [at the Sentry Tournament of Champions] like you usually do?”, asked the Northern Irish star. Players competing at The Sentry Tournament of Champions must have won at least a single PGA Tour event in the previous season.

Or a player can also be in contention if he finishes as a top 30 qualifier on the FedExCup playoff points list. However, during the 2021 calendar, Johnson had no win to his name. Though he had been competing at the Tournament of Champions for the past 14 consecutive seasons, he failed to qualify for last year’s event.

When McIlroy asked him if he was competing at the tournament, DJ simply replied, “I’m not in”. The world number one who was probably already aware of the answer reacted by saying, “Oh, sorry”.  At the end of the day, both men are great friends and were sharing a hysterical moment. Or perhaps, maybe not. Only McIlroy knows whether the question was a joke or not.


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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – MAY 12: Dustin Johnson of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walk on the 14th hole during the second round of THE PLAYERS Championship at the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2017 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Now, a year later, McIlroy went to South Carolina and successfully reclaimed the CJ Cup. Meanwhile, his breakfast buddy from a year ago, wasn’t there this time, as he currently competes at the Saudi-funded LIV Golf. However, hopefully, both men still share the same amount of friendship as they did despite their differences in the choice of Tour.

What are your thoughts on McIlroy’s witty jibe at Johnson? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Read More: How a Simple Golf Ball Change Helped Rory McIlroy Pocket $18 Million




Abdul Bari Khan

617 articles

Abdul Bari is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Abdul is currently pursuing his Master’s in the same. With great affection for the world of sports, this avid golf lover turned to the course at a young age.

Edited By: Manaal Siddiqui