Dustin Johnson Nukes the Travelers' to Extend His Win-per-Season Streak
It's surely the oldest tip in golf:
You drive for show,
but you putt for dough.
However, only a handful of them have consistently enhanced the balance of their repertoires to complement their power as well as Dustin Johnson.
Here he is at Sentry in 2018, beating where the course architect figured the mortal limit was before the 12th hole followed contour:
Damn near a 433yd ace.
There was a bit of that at the Travelers this weekend, like ...
- Phil Mickelson finding a paved cart path and using his detailed knowledge of the rule book to secure a decent drop
Phil Mickelson is 50 and still learning some of the more intricate rules of the game.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 27, 2020
This clutch par save on No. 17 helped him reach the clubhouse with the lead. pic.twitter.com/CNi6c0kpFT
- DeChambeau's 428-yard bop that got a boost down another paved cart path:
- And even Johnson put one down a cart path that nestled up against the adjacent railroad tracks, but an easy drop sorted that out in a hurry.
Not that dude wasn't without adventure.
Here's how he notched a wet Par 4 on the cushy 294-yard 15th:
Danger's gonna happen to the best of them.
It's minimizing those occasions as well as recovering from them that gives Johnson a je ne sais quoi sorta consistency that really hasn't been seen since the days of Arnold Palmer or Repo Man.
In these modern times, dude doesn't survey the situation, take a long drag on his cigarette, toss it down with disdain, and go for it like Arnie did. Johnson just figures he got himself into it, so he can get himself out of it.
He's done it enough to now have won at least one tourney a season for the past 13 years. Only Palmer (17), Jack Nicklaus (17), and Tiger (14) have had longer streaks.
This victory was personnified by Johnson's three-hole saga in the final round in contrast to Day 3 leader Brandon Todd's painful triple bogey on the 12th in the final round, a series that put paid to the title:
- Dude went OB on the Par 5 13th, took his bogey in stride,
- Made it up on the 14th by draining a 16-foot birdie putt, and then
- Calmly recorded that wacko par on 15.
Throughout the weekend, it's what he did.
Culminating in making the final round interesting but inevitable:
Speaking of Mac Hughes, that pair of birds was good for an extra $210,900 in his pay packet.
Those putts lifted highlighted his final-round 67 and lifted him into a tie for third with Will Gordon. Had Hughes settled for a couple of routine pars, he woulda split the prize money for a six-way tie for sixth place. Instead, he split earnings with Gordon.
The difference: a $225,700 share against a $436,600 share. Ergo, $210,900.
This is Johnson's 21st championship and the first since last year's WGC-Mexico triumph 20 tournaments ago.
That's fodder for short memories now.
Dude's streak is intact, and in a sport where one shot can derail an entire weekend, that's saying something. A lot of something.