We may be about to witness a golf season unlike any we have seen since Tiger Woods in his prime. This isn’t meant to discredit Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas or others who have dominated a recent tour season.
However, if the Sentry Tournament of Champions was any indication of what lies ahead in 2018, Dustin Johnson could be on his was to greatness.
For those who may not know, the field at the Tournament of Champions is made up of only those players who have won a PGA event in the past 12 months. Essentially, it’s the best of the best over the past year.
Johnson’s 8-stroke victory is remarkable. This dominating victory comes just two months after Johnson lost a 6-stroke final round lead in the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai. Though he lost that tournament, he still displayed his ability to dominate a world class field of golfers.
But is Johnson the next “Great One?” It should be noted that Johnson, as he is referred to on tour, is married to Paulina Gretzky. Paulina just happens to be the daughter of Wayne Gretzky. Wayne Gretzky has perhaps the greatest, and most fitting, nickname in all of sports. “The Great One.”
If Johnson continues on his current pace, this nickname may need to be shared at the family dinner table.
I must admit that a few years ago, I had no idea who Johnson was. Suddenly, he won a few tournaments and became widely recognized as the best driver of the golf ball on tour. He is long. However, his relationship with Paulina immediately thrust him into the media spotlight, and his life seemed to be tumbling on a downward spiral. He actually left the tour for a stint to rehab his life back together.
Fast forward a few years, and Johnson has suddenly become the most dominant player in golf. He was a big favorite heading into last year’s Masters, before a freak accident walking down stairs impaired his back and forced him to withdraw.
Now he seems healthy and ready to destroy the competition. His win at the Tournament of Champions marked his 11th straight PGA season with a victory.
Think about that!
To be considered great requires a level of consistency at a high level, and Johnson is certainly holding true to that.
Whether his 8-stroke victory proves to be the beginning of a historic 2018, Johnson has impressed me to the point that I will be shocked if he doesn’t win at least 5 more times this year.
He is truly great.