August 17, 2017
U.S. Open Winner, But Still An Enigma
|Dustin Johnson and family after he won the 2016 U.S. Open|
By R.J. SmileyDustin Johnson might be the best ball striker on the planet. It seems that the tougher the golf course is, the better he plays. The golfer, who the media says is a poor putter and has a weak wedge, is now a major champion. The golfer, who has shown Greg Norman like collapses and shares Norman's bad luck syndrome, has overcome his shortcomings.
In my 60+ years I have known a hundred or more great players, purported to be great players and many who thought they were great players. Let me give my opinion why Dustin Johnson will prove to be one of the best of all time.
I would compare Dustin Johnson to a piece of flank stake from a Grade "A" side of beef. No matter what you do to a flank steak, it will always be tough with a coarse texture. But with the addition of time, and marinating with a variety of robust spices and hardy seasonings, the incredible flavor will complement and overcome the toughness. Some people will never like flank steak! Some people will never like Dustin Johnson.
First of all Dustin Johnson is a great athlete. (I hope he develops a moniker like Jack, Arnie, OJ, Gorgeous George, The Shark or Seve. We can't just call him Dustin, and surely not Johnson. "You can call me Ray....") Dustin Johnson can dunk a basketball with two hands in bare feet. The radar gun has clocked him slinging a four-seam fastball 90 mph.
Randy Myers, Johnson's trainer, told Sports Illustrated, "Dustin's standing broad jump puts him in the 93rd percentile among NBA players. His time in the three-cone drill (measuring speed and agility) puts him in the 80th percentile among NFL skill-position players." One of his golf teammates at Coastal Carolina said, "Dustin never practiced. He would just show up for a match and shoot 64."
But, being a great athlete is one of his biggest problems. Dustin Johnson is a stereotypical professional athlete, except he is a white guy wearing a golf shirt not shoulder pads. He wears Adidas shoes with soft spikes not NIKE basketball sneakers. ESPN.com Columnist, Rick Reilly's famous remark, "Dustin is so dense, light bends around him."
Dustin Johnson has been suspended from the PGA TOUR for testing positive for drug use, twice for cocaine and once for marijuana. He is engaged to, and has a son with, Paulina Gretzke, daughter of Wayne Gretzke. Paulina, the model who wears tight fitting sexy clothes, has a well-earned reputation as a party animal - before and after Johnson.
He is, to use a slang term, "A Player." Allowing his small head to think for his large head. He has had at least two relationships with fellow TOUR player's wives. Talk on the TOUR is that Dustin Johnson has a following of groupies that would rival the "what-happens-on-the-road-stays-on-the-road" NFL and NBA players.
Dustin Johnson has a series of blown major wins. He has choked away large leads, like Norman and Mickelson. He has, some people say, been robbed of the opportunity to compete in the PGA Championship playoff at Whistling Straits. But today Dustin Johnson is the U.S. Open Champion!
The USGA attempted to again rob Dustin Johnson, the golfer, not the drug-using playboy with a hot fiancé, of a major championship. In this golf writer's opinion, the fact that the USGA chose to override the decision of a highly trained rules official after the fact was like playing the Super Bowl then calling penalties watching videotape after the game. If the USGA were going to override a ruling made by their rules official, they should have done it immediately.
The USGA should have a RED FACE for years to come over this incident. But they won't!
Dustin Johnson, the major champion, has matured with time and been marinating with the harshest of spices and seasonings. Dustin Johnson, the athlete has learned to harness his athletic abilities. The driver, a 6-iron followed by a slipper-slide quick right breaking 6 footer to birdie the 18th at Oakmont, put Dustin Johnson in the history books beside Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller as winners at Oakmont.
Dustin Johnson, the athlete, is the U.S. Open Champion. This will be the first of many major victories.
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