Around the wider world of golf: Joost Luiten won the KLM Open on the ET; Bryson DeChambeau won the DAP Championship in the Web.com Finals series; David Pastore won the Niagara Championship on the Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada; Nathan Lashley won the San Luis Championship on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Gunn Charoenkul won the Chongqing NewTown KingRun Open on the PGA TOUR China; In-Kyung Kim won the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters on the LET; and Dana Finkelstein won the Garden City Charity Classic on the Symetra Tour.
Perhaps it comes as news to some, but Dustin Johnson has been seriously underestimated. Hopefully this illusion has been dispelled by his performances this year. Let me explain.
For a long time, media and fans alike have lumped DJ in with all the other long hitters on Tour. It's true that there are many players who hit the ball as long as DJ, and quite a few have 'good hands' around and on the greens.
But while many players hit it as long as DJ, they don't hit it as accurately -- or as consistently -- as DJ. They can hit their irons a long way but they don't hit them as accurately -- or as consistently -- as DJ. They can scramble pretty well but they don't do it as well -- or as consistently -- as DJ. And as we have been seeing over the last few months, they may putt pretty well but they no longer do it as consistently as DJ.
In other words, DJ has moved into a realm by himself.
Paul Casey has begun to get his game back in shape as well. (I have expected this for quite some time but injuries and personal problems held him back.) He played well enough to win almost any other week he might have teed it up... except that DJ was on his game this week.
Don't misunderstand me. I don't expect Dustin to play this way all the time. Players regularly experience highs and lows in their games; it's just part of being human. But I think it's time we realize that DJ has raised his game since he became a husband and father -- let's just call it 'focus' and leave it at that -- and he has raised that game to a level we don't see very often.
So don't make the mistake of lumping Dustin Johnson in with all those other long hitters. And don't be surprised when he wins the Player of the Year Award this year, nor when he rises to #1 in the World Rankings in the not-too-distant future. The "Big Gang" at the top of the golf world is about to have their party crashed... and he probably won't even look that excited when he does it.
Of course, I know he'll be celebrating like a mad man after he gets this new Limerick Summary. But don't worry, DJ -- I won't blow your cover. It's enough that you and I know.
Paul Casey hung tough to the endThe photo is from this page at sfgate.com (San Francisco Chronicle).
But DJ hung on for the win.
That’s three wins this season—
It’s also the reason
His POY campaign is genuine.