By: Evan Lachnit, KCOU Sports
The world of golf has had a tremendous comeback story happen in the past month and we all of course know that it is not Tiger Woods.
Dustin Johnson has been through a lot in the past eight months. On July 31 of last year, he announced that he would be stepping away from the game indefinitely for what he called “personal reasons”. Many began to debate exactly what had happened to Johnson. A report surfaced that he had failed a drug test for cocaine and was suspended by the PGA. That report from Golf.com was disputed by both Johnson and the PGA Tour.
Since Johnson has said it had to do with him getting himself right. Johnson claims that he took a leave of absence “to seek professional help for personal challenges I have faced.” Johnson had issues with rumors that he has failed drug test before, the most serious being an accusation that he had tested positive for cocaine twice as the stories in the links above explain. Johnson has denied those reports saying that he had an issue with partying and drinking to relieve stress. He was also accused of sleeping with wives of other players on Tour in the Golf.com article.
The turmoil surrounding Johnson’s life was at an all time high last August when he became a figure that could be compared to Woods to a lesser degree. Now fast forward to February this year and things seem to be a lot less rocky for one of the most talented players on Tour.
Johnson made his return last month at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. He missed the cut by one stroke. The next week Johnson found his groove. He played at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM. Playing alongside his father-in-law, the great one Wayne Gretzky, Johnson tied for fourth in the tournament. No surprise though as this is arguably his best tournament and won it back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010. He then followed that up with a great weekend in Los Angeles making it to a playoff in the Northern Trust Open.
The breakthrough came last weekend for Johnson. While playing in the WGC-Cadillac Championship, a World Golf Championship, Johnson played his best. He recorded a hole-in-one on Saturday and followed it up by knocking it within feet of another ace in his final round on Sunday. Johnson trailed 54-hole tournament leader J.B. Holmes by five strokes heading into Sunday. With Holmes and many of the other leaders floundering on the final day, he was able to pounce. Johnson shot a 69 in his final round and was able to catch and pass Holmes in the final round to claim the title.
This was an impressive feat for Johnson. Not only did he come back from five strokes down, but this tournament also featured all 50 players that are in the world golf rankings top 50. So to say the least, the competition was stiff. This was Johnson’s second WGC win, his other coming in November 2013 when he won the WGC-HSBC Championship in China. He has won nine tournaments overall, but have been impressive tournaments at that. Along with the two WGC wins, and the two wins at Pebble Beach, Johnson has won the prestigious Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the BMW Championship and The Barclays.
Now ranked seventh in the world golf rankings, Johnson is getting hot at the right time. With the Masters less than a month away, many are looking for big things out of Johnson in Augusta come April. He has seven top ten finishes in majors, but not one at the Masters. Statistically, it has been his worst major of the four.
Johnson has had many changes in his life in the past year. He has made a triumphant return to the PGA Tour, he and his wife Paulina Gretzky had their first child in January, a boy named Tatum, and maybe now the next step is being able to put on the Green Jacket in Butler’s Cabin on April 12.