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Focus On: Dustin Johnson

The current world number five

Posted Sep 30, 2011 by Chris White

Johnson tied for second at the 2011 Open Championship

Renowned for being one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour, 27-year old American Dustin Johnson has risen up the world rankings in recent years and is currently the world’s number five, just behind his compatriot Steve Stricker.

Having turned professional in 2007, Johnson earned his PGA Tour card for 2008 by finishing tied for 14th in the qualifying school, and won his first Tour event at the Turning Stone Resort Championship. His first significant victory came in early 2009 when he won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, winning by four strokes from Mike Weir and Retief Goosen.

In 2009, Johnson finished in 15th place on the PGA Tour money list, thus was the promise his then fledgling career was showing. He defended his Pebble Beach Pro-Am title in 2010, birdying the final hole to win ahead of David Duval and JB Holmes, but couldn’t quite secure a victory at the 2010 US Open, leading the event by three shots before a disappointing final round handed the title to Graeme McDowell, finishing tied for eighth overall.

A fourth career victory followed soon after, however, when he won the BMW Championship, the third FedEx Cup playoff event, en route to a fourth placed finish on the PGA Tour money list in 2010.

Johnson secured his best finish in a major at the 2011 Open at Royal St George’s, finishing in a tie for second place with Phil Mickelson, three strokes behind the winner Darren Clarke. This achievement moved him up to a then career-high of seventh in the world rankings. In the other major championships, Johnson has a best of tied for 30th at the 2009 Masters, and top tens at the US Open (tied for eighth in 2010), and PGA Championship, (tied for fifth also in 2010).

His first tournament victory of 2011 came at The Barclays, beating Matt Kuchar by two strokes in a tournament shortened due to the threat of Hurricane Irene. The win not only moved him from 19th to 1st in the FedEx Cup standings – his second playoff win – but also took him to fourth in the world rankings.


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