DJ turns TOC into a Tour de Force

KAPALUA, Hawaii – Call it a bounce-back win, although that implies a competitive imperative, and with Dustin Johnson that’s simply never the case.

Perhaps the world No. 1 needed that shootout triumph against Jordan Spieth at The Northern Trust last fall to once and for all put away any lingering thoughts that the back injury he endured on the eve of last year’s Masters was a reason for lasting concern.

Maybe even after the 2015 U.S. Open when he three-putted the 72nd hole to drop a heartbreaker, also to Spieth, he needed something to remind him that a single week doesn’t define a career.

And maybe there was an element that wanted to see how DJ responded after blowing a 54-hole lead in late October at the WGC-HSBC Champions. But rest assured, Johnson neither desired nor needed a bounce-back victory to start his year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Truth is, Johnson’s eight-stroke Rembrandt at Kapalua was no more important than any of his other 17 Tour tilts, but that doesn’t mean it was insignificant.

If one were inclined to gaze into the looking glass Johnson’s victory, his second in Maui, was a foreboding harbinger. It was, after all, a five-shot dismantling at last year’s Genesis Open that set DJ on a dominant path that only a poorly timed spill in his rental house could stall.

Johnson would win his next start after the Genesis Open, the WGC-Mexico Championship, and his next, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, and veer down Magnolia Lane the closest thing to a lock to win the Masters since Tiger Woods was creating Sunday roars in his prime.

Johnson can now admit that it took the better part of a year to feel right again. His practice was limited, that explosive backswing was limited and his game predictably suffered.

Source : The Golf Channel

posted at 08 Jan 2018 16:34:53



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