Dustin Johnson is now back in the winner’s circle for the third time since the tour resumed in June, $15 million richer. His FedEx Cup victory cemented his status as one of the finest players of the modern era, but many believe the world number one will not be regarded as one of the game’s greats until he wins more majors.
Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka stoked the debate at last month’s US PGA Championship after predicting that third-round leader “DJ” Johnson could struggle to close out a second major title.
“A lot of the guys on the leaderboard, I don’t think have won (a major). I guess DJ has only won one,” Koepka said.
Johnson finished two strokes behind Collin Morikawa, the fifth time he had been runner-up in one of the big four. But Koepka’s jab might have lit a fire under the usually laid-back Johnson. The last three weeks have seen Johnson steamroller an elite field to win the Northern Trust by 11 strokes at 30-under par, the second-lowest total in tour history. Seven days later he finished second at the BMW Championship, but only because Jon Rahm sank a 66-foot monster putt in a playoff.
“Obviously I’m playing very well now,” Johnson said, before adding ominously. “I feel like I can play better, though.”With the US Open at Winged Foot 10 days away and six majors to come in the next 10 months, red-hot Johnson is going to have lots of chances to improve his major record.
Being Johnson’s better half has more advantages than those giant winner’s cheques too. Paulina Gretzky, Dustin’s partner watched Johnson seal his victory from the course at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. While Gretzky had a front-row seat to Johnson’s $15 million-win, other members of her family couldn’t see it at all.
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