By Calvin Ralph
It doesn’t seem like to long ago that we were Dustin Johnson…for all the wrong reasons. He had taken a six-month layoff at the end of the 2014 season. There were reports of a cocaine addiction, but he cited personal reasons and that’s all we knew.
He comes back in January. Yes he has missed two cuts, but he has two top-5s and a win in 5 events. Don’t you think the inconsistent play would be expected after a long layoff? Just ask Tiger…he would know.
His win seems like redemption. He was not supposed to win last week. He came back, fought from behind. He is truly one of the hottest players on TOUR after the first
- He Can Crush the Ball: Let’s face it; if you can hit the long ball, you are in good shape. Johnson ranks 2nd in both Driving Distance and Strokes Gained from Tee to Green and 1st Total Driving Efficiency. Johnson will continue to hit it long, he will be on top of a leaderboard at a major.
- The Major Championship Courses Play To the Long Ball: The only course on the 2015 roster under 7000 yards is the Old Course at St. Andrews, but can play long depending on the day. Courses have become increasingly longer, but Dustin Johnson’s long drives are not going anywhere.
- Life is Good: During his layoff, Johnson’s son, Tatum was born. His relationship with model/fiancée Paulina Gretzky is good as well as they are going to get married in the coming months.
“It means everything,” he said of his one-stroke victory over J.B. Holmes. “It’s been a tough road, but a really good one, Obviously a lot of great things came out of it. My son, and me and [fiancé] Paulina are doing great. It just feels awesome to get that W.”
Indeed Dustin it is awesome.
- He Can Putt and Hit the Big Shots: This week proved it. He aced the par 3 4th and almost aced it again. Truly ridiculous. Dustin can putt as well. He ranks in the Top-25 in putting average.
- Whistling Straits: We all remember the infamous 2010 PGA Championship, a tournament that Johnson should have won until this happened: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qQEcx7xEuQ (my apologies about the quality). In 2015, the PGA Championship heads back to Whistling Straits. Dustin will definitely have an idea of redemption on his mind.
The PGA Tour heads to Tampa this week for the Valspar Championship. Won last year by John Senden with a -7 score, this tournament is also played on a tough course at Innisbrook. Jim Furyk and Jordan Spieth, fan favorite John Daly, headline the field.
Who Wins This Week (0-2): Patrick Reed (-9). Reed wins this week because he will be motivated by his play at Doral. His play should not be affected by the wind conditions that were found in Miami. Not only to mention that the Par-5s are real long, something that benefits Reed.