Big Country Spotlight: Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson (also known as DJ) is an American pro golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. Johnson is one of the tallest golfers on the tour at 6’ 4”. Wearing an XL glove and a size 13 shoe he is 100% Big Country approved. He currently resides in Palm Beach Gardens, FL with his wife and 2 children.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Johnson played collegiate golf at Coastal Carolina University where he majored in Sports Management. He is the 1st player to win at least once in each of his first 7 seasons coming out of college since Tiger Woods. Late in 2007, Johnson turned professional and earned his 2008 PGA Tour card by finishing in a tie for 14th place at the 2007 qualifying school.
Near the end of his rookie season in October 2008, Johnson secured a win on his 1st PGA Tour event, the Turning Stone Resort Championship in New York. Four months later, he won his second event at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. This event was shortened to 54 holes when the final round had to be canceled due to strong winds and heavy rain. Johnson won by four strokes over Mike Weir and by five strokes over second-round leader Retief Goosen. Dustin Johnson finished the 2009 season ranked 15th on the PGA Tour money list.
Johnson birdied on the final hole in February 2010 to defeat the former World #1 David Duval and two-time PGA Tour winner J. B. Holmes, successfully defending his AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am title. Johnson finally broke his streak of bad luck at the third FedEx Cup playoff event of the season, the BMW Championship at Cog Hill in September. This was his 4th career PGA Tour victory and his first in any FedEx Cup playoff event. He finished the 2010 season ranked 4th on the PGA Tour money list.
In 2011, Dustin Johnson won his fifth PGA Tour title at The Barclays, beating Matt Kuchar by two strokes. This was the second 54-hole tournament victory of his career, after the 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. With this win, it took Johnson to a career-high of 4th in the world rankings, the 2nd highest American (behind Steve Stricker).
Dustin began his 2013 season with a win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, an event that is reserved for winners from the previous season. He won by four strokes over defending champion Steve Stricker in another event that was shortened to 54 holes due to the very strong winds that made the course unplayable. This event was Johnson's seventh PGA Tour win and his third in a 54-hole event.
At the 2015 U.S. Open, he held a share of the lead heading into the final round. He had two birdies on the front-nine, but had three bogeys on the back-nine yet birdied 17 to get within one of Jordan Spieth. Johnson hit a five iron to the par-5 18th, 12 feet from the hole. He hit his eagle putt to within 3 feet past the hole and then missed the 3-footer coming back to give the title to Spieth.
Johnson won the 2016 U.S. Open claiming his first major title in June 2016 during his 29th major appearance. However, the win was shrouded in controversy when Johnson was given a one-shot penalty after his final round had finished due to an incident on the fifth green. The world's top golfers such as Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and Webb Simpson took to social media to criticize the USGA for its decision. With this win, Dustin moved up three positions in the OWGR to #3. He finished the 2016 season as the leading money winner on the PGA Tour (winning the Arnold Palmer Award), with the lowest scoring average (winning the Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award) and he also won both the PGA Player of the Year and PGA Tour Player of the Year awards.
In February 2017, after starting the season with two top-10 finishes in his first 4 events, Johnson won the Genesis Open by five strokes over Scott Brown and Thomas Pieters. This moved him to #1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. His win at the Genesis Open also cemented his place in history, joining Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only three golfers in PGA Tour history to win a title in each of their first 10 seasons.
Johnson won at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March by one stroke over Tommy Fleetwood. The win marked the fifth time that a golfer won his first tournament after becoming #1. This was Johnson's fourth WGC title and moved him into 2nd place on the list of the most World Golf Championships titles, trailing only Tiger Woods. He would go undefeated three weeks later at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event for his first WGC Match Play title and his fifth overall WGC title. This win also meant that Johnson would become the first player to win all four of the WGC crowns; the 2013 WGC-HSBC Champions, the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Championship, 2017 WGC-Mexico Championship (previously the Cadillac Championship), the 2016 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and the 2017 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. This was Johnson’s third consecutive Tour title through just seven starts in 2017.
Johnson won the Sentry Tournament of Champions for the second time in January 2018, with an eight-stroke victory over Jon Rahm. This win meant that Johnson had won a title in his first 11 straight seasons on the PGA Tour, behind only Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. With this win, he also became only the third player in the last 30 years - alongside Woods and Phil Mickelson - to reach 17 PGA Tour wins before the age of 34. He went on to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis in June by five strokes, making it his second time winning the event, thus helping him regain the #1 World ranking.
In February 2019, Johnson went on to win the inaugural Saudi International on the European Tour. The win was Johnson's sixth European Tour title outside of the majors and WGC's and it made him the USA's fifth most successful player in European Tour history behind Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson.
Johnson finished tied for second in the Masters Tournament in April 2019, one stroke behind champion Tiger Woods. In May 2019, he finished second at the PGA Championship, two strokes behind champion Brooks Koepka and making him the eighth person ever to have finished runner up in all four majors.
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