Anand Datla

Dustin Johnson rides a changed attitude to world No.1

Dustin Johnson supplanted Jason Day as the world's top golfer with a commanding performance at the Riviera

154
Dustin Johnson - PGA TOUR

February 21, 2017: Dustin Johnson is the world No.1, but soon as you read it, there is a ring of disbelief to it. After all, here is a man who mastered messing up. Grounding a club once, shanking out of bounds another time – he invented ways to court major defeat from seemingly certain situations of victory. Transformation is a powerful narrative and Johnson’s is a story that will be told for many years to come.

Ever since he took a break in 2014, purportedly in the aftermath of a positive test for recreational material, Johnson has come back a reformed man and golfer.

Dustin Johnson regrouped with professional help

It took him a while to build his game back to shape, but Butch Harmon has helped shape a swing that is the envy of many men. He used it to good effect, in winning the US Open last year. Winning that elusive major has taken the monkey off his back.

He is a man of few words, spoken in a heavy set tone. Johnson’s game though is flowering into a memorable prose that is evoking comparisons with Tiger Woods.

“I told him he’s starting to remind me of Tiger in the old days,” said Harmon in a conversation with Newstalk. “He hits it as far as anyone, he puts it in the fairway better. His short game is better, and he’s starting to be that guy that, when he’s on, he’s almost impossible to beat.”

“It started with Tatum,” added Harmon. “Dustin becoming a father gave him that big responsibility that he’d never had before. There was a mature Dustin Johnson I’d never seen before.”

Just as Johnson starts his reign as the best golfer in the world, Paulina is expecting their second child. The world has come full circle for a man once thought to be too frivolous for sustained success. Acknowledged as one of the most talented golfers on the planet, it appears Johnson is finally ready to let his talent flower into results.

Join the Conversation