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Dustin Johnson’s greatness is not yet understood

in Golf by

Dustin Johnson absolutely obliterated the field this past weekend at the BMW Championship. But will he be golf’s biggest name?

 

 

—If the people who feel that Golf needs a big star had to pick just one guy, to fill the role of Tiger Woods. It’s a tired argument and theory yes, but if they did they would probably pick Jordan Spieth to rise to ultra celebrity and dominate the world golf scene.

The only thing is, this is golf, it’s not that easy.

They are looking for the guy that makes golf must watch tv, for your average fan.  The one who draws the crowds. The one who makes people just in utter awe of his sheer presence on their tube. The one who is must see TV. The that makes it so that NBC, CBS, FOX and others don’t have to work so darn hard to get the TV ratings.

That guy would probably be Jordan Spieth in terms of American golfers.

But Spieth is probably not that guy. He could be just not right now.

The best American golfer right now is clearly Dustin Johnson.

Spieth nor Johnson have the Tiger personality, the undying drive towards victory, a hunger for approval that can never be fed.

Johnson’s personality type is probably closer to Woods in terms of fighting to the internal battles but Spieth, as is often noted, is just a kid. He’s just a kid and still has the boyish look on his face that doesn’t quite make him the poster child for the most dominant man in sports. He still looks likes he’s having too much fun out there. Dustin Johnson is out there doing work.

Johnson absolutely obliterated the field this past weekend in Carmel, Indiana at the BMW Championship shooting 23-under for the tournament and setting a course record in round two.

Johnson is nine years old than Spieth. Johnson is 32 years old and has been a pro since 2004. Spieth is 23-years old and turned pro in 2012.

Johnson is tall and lanky and from South Carolina. Johnson’s parents divorced when he was in high school and its said to have affected him. Spieth, though like Johnson, were teenage golf prodigies as it were, appears to have just about an alround plain upper middle class upbrigning attending prep school while launching his golf career in force.

It was Johnson who took a leave of absence which the tabloids reported as for cocaine use, but Johnson later stated was an issue with binge drinking.  Even at that time, he had won eight times on the PGA Tour and amassed $25 million but this was a man either in pain or without self control.

Yet it’s Johnson who continues to dominate on the PGA TOUR when everyone is expecting that American golfer to be Jordan Spieth.

It’s Johnson who is able to laser focus for four rounds.

It was Johnson who ESPN’s Rick Reilly said, perhaps just out of sheer arrogance, that Johnson was basically dumb or unintelligent.

Johnson has now won three times in his last eight starts on the PGA TOUR.

But there’s more pressure on Johnson. There’s a feeling that if he wasn’t dominating he couldn’t get by on name recognition alone, as the word Spieth is in the American sports lexicon.

Johnson is super popular in the galleries and youngsters know who he is. The average American golf fan doesn’t know or think about his issues off the course; the way off the field issues dominate a sport like football. It was at the U.S. Open where he was able to repaint the story with everyone watching. After winning his first major championship he was there on the 18th with his wife Paulina Gretzky and son Tatum Gretzky Johnson in arms for the entire world to see.

For Johnson to be “the guy” he’s going to have to wow us at the Ryder Cup, and he probably will and then it’s about the 2017 Majors what can he do. Can he win at least one more next season, two and he becomes legendary.