Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Johnson arrested on DUI charge
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- PGA Tour winner and rising star Dustin Johnson was arrested Monday and charged with driving under the influence in South Carolina, police said.
Johnson, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February for his second PGA Tour victory in five months, was booked into the J. Long Detention Center on Monday and released 22 minutes later, according to the facility's Web site.
"I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret," Johnson said in a statement released by the PGA Tour. "I have let myself down and others who support me. I am handling the matter privately, and rest assured, I will definitely learn from my mistake."
A trooper pulled over Johnson's black sport utility vehicle at about 1 a.m. Monday in Horry County for a traffic violation, said Sgt. R.K. Hughes of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. During the stop, the officer determined Johnson was under the influence and arrested him, Hughes said.
Johnson, 24, is No. 9 in the FedEx Cup standings and is No. 40 in the world ranking.
He played college golf at Coastal Carolina and lives in Myrtle Beach. He is scheduled to play in the Shell Houston Open this week before playing in The Masters for the first time.
The DUI arrest isn't his first brush with the law. In 2001, Johnson was among five teens involved in a burglary in which somebody took a gun. According to appellate court documents, Johnson was persuaded to buy bullets for the gun by a friend's menacing older brother.
Later that month the brother, Steve Gillian, was charged with murder after shooting the victim multiple times in the head. Because of Johnson's connection to the crime, he had to pay restitution for the theft and agree to testify at the murder trail. Gillian is serving life without parole.
In January, the Probation, Pardon and Parole Services Board of South Carolina granted Johnson a full pardon in the case, according to the agency's Web site.
"Eight years ago, however long ago that was, I couldn't see myself being here," Johnson said after his Pebble Beach victory.
After high school, he went on to play at Coastal Carolina, where he became a three-time Big South Conference player of the year with the Chanticleers before turning pro.
He played for the United States in the Walker Cup two years ago and won the Turning Stone Championship last October as a rookie.