DJ Walking To the Sound of His Own Tune

It becomes harder and harder to remember a time when Dustin Johnson was considered a good golfer that hadn’t yet fulfilled his true potential. The one-time show pony has turned into one of the games most fierce competitors and that was illustrated again with a four-shot win in Hawaii as he won the Sentry Tournament of Champions. An ominous sign for his fellow adversaries and their concerns over how much Johnson may dominate this season are more than justified.

Dustin Johnson golf champion
Dustin Johnson” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Keith Allison

The thirty-three-year-old who stands 1.93m is the picture of health and physically looks more athletic than he ever has. There seem to be very few things he can’t achieve with a golf club in his hand with the work carried out off the course in the gym paying massive dividends. Just how big a season could the man born in South Carolina have?

How long is a piece of string? may be the answer. Winning professional golf tournaments is hard and a feat that most professional golfers won’t experience during their career. Realistically, you are not going to have a golfer follow the same path as a sports team and not lose a game they play in. There can only be one winner and lifting trophies is not a regular pastime for most professional golfers. Dustin Johnson is doing everything in his power to change that and while he is not winning every week, he’s winning with frightening frequency.

Winning the Tournament of Champions meant that Johnson had to fight off an exceptionally competitive field. It was Marc Leishman who Oddschecker gave odds of 22/1 to win the event who led going into the weekend but it was Johnson who was one shot back with two rounds to go that wrestled the advantage back like he has so many times before to win by a healthy margin of four shots.

Johnson’s triumph in Hawaii was his 17th overall victory on the PGA Tour and cemented his place at the summit of the Official World Golf Rankings. Johnson’s cheque of $1.2m takes his career earnings to $49, 703, 604 which means he surpasses Ernie Else to move to 5th in the all-time money list of career earnings. Johnson’s earnings have exponentially gone up over the last two seasons with the big hitter earning over $20m over the past 24 months.

Dustin Johnson golf champion triumph
Dustin Johnson” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by thegordons

Questions are now being asked as to whether Johnson can win 8 times this season to reach Tiger Woods’ record set in 2006 – when Woods had a win percentage of 53%. Johnson who is no shrinking violet was confident about his chances of replicating Woods’ achievements saying he definitely thinks he can.

That answer may be considered a bit brash by some but the fact of the matter is that Johnson has earned the right to respond in that way. Betting against him to do it would be most unwise as Johnson’s trajectory over the last couple of seasons would have been predicted by few, with his accomplishments unforeseen.

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