World ranking (current/end of year)
Current 2020 Stats
FedEx Cup Rank: 111th
Top 10: 2
Top 25: 2
Made Cut: 4
Off-The-Tee: 27th (2019: 4th, 2018: 1st, 2017: 1st)
Approach: 85th (2019: 47th, 2018: 5th, 2017: 7th)
Around The Green: 162nd (2019: 38th, 2018: 33rd, 2017: 58th)
Putting: 106th (2019: 74th, 2018: 25th, 2017: 96th)
Tee-To-Green: 57th (2019: 8th, 2018: 1st, 2017: 1st)
Total: 63rd (2019: 11th, 2018: 1st, 2017: 3rd)
It may be a little unfair to judge DJ on just four starts this year and two top tens suggests there's not much to worry about. But it's certainly easy to spot a decline in his numbers over the last season and a bit. Johnson was ranked 1st for both Off-The-Tee and and Tee-To-Green in both 2017 and 2018, that long-game brilliance helping him to seven wins (also won three times in 2016). But since landing the Canadian Open in July 2018, he's managed just a single victory, the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship. While his putting comes and goes, perhaps his Approach stats best highlight the drop in levels. Playing through and recovering from a knee injury has surely played a part but no top five in 12 PGA TOUR starts is most unlike DJ although he did finish runner-up in the European Tour's Saudi International at the start of February.
Grade so far: B-
Dustin Johnson 2020 quotes
WGC-Mexico Championship (on recovering from arthroscopic surgery last September to repair cartilage damage in his left knee): “It was probably, I don't know, six, eight weeks before I maybe started hitting some wedges. Yeah, it was a good little bit. But I mean, I could hit wedges probably, yeah, after eight weeks I started hitting wedges, then afterwards an 8-iron, and gradually worked from there. I really started practicing probably two weeks before the Presidents Cup. (On state of knee) It's close. Not quite 100 (per cent), but it doesn't bother me doing anything other than when I get some funky lies in a sand trap or something would be the only time that it bothers me a little bit.”
AT&T Pebble Beach (on the state of his game): “Right now I feel pretty good throughout the bag. I mean, obviously, the short game and putting can always be better. But for the most part, I feel like the game's in pretty good form right now. Yeah, I haven't played a whole lot, but the events I have played in, I felt like I was pretty sharp. Hawaii (T7 Sentry TOC), which was my first kind of stroke play event since the TOUR Championship was, I felt like I hit it really good, hit a lot of good shots, I did everything pretty well, just a little rusty mentally more than anything. But now that I feel like I'm kind of getting back into the swing of things, I felt like I did a good job last week (T2 Saudi), even though it was very tough conditions, especially on the weekend.”
Sentry Tournament of Champions (on his tally of 20 wins): “It's not that many considering how many tournaments I've played (264, so a win rate of just over 7.5%). I mean, yeah, I'm proud that I have 20 wins out here because it's very difficult to win, but yeah, I definitely feel like I should have more. Probably about double."
THE MAJORS (most recent result on the left)
The Masters: 2-10-DNP-4-6-MC-12-DNP-38-38-30
DJ took time to work it all out at Augusta National and didn't make the top ten in any of his first five visits. But now he's on a streak of four straight, coming closest last year when tied second. At different times he's ranked 1st for Driving Distance (four times), 1st for Putts Per Round (26.5 in 2015) and 2nd in Scrambling (2016 and 2018). However, he's only once finished better than 14th for GIR (7th on debut in 2009) and only once has DJ hit more than two-thirds of the widish fairways.
PGA Championship: 2-27-13-MC-7-MC-8-48-MC-5-10
In terms of top ten strike-rate, this is DJ's best major as he's had five of them in ten starts. His best effort, solo second, came in last year's edition at Bethpage. The 2020 PGA is set for Harding Park where DJ won two of three matches but failed to advance from the Group stage in the 2015 WGC-Match Play. That said, California has been a happy hunting ground as he's claimed four wins there (2 x Pebble and 2 x Genesis Invitational).
U.S. Open: 35-3-MC-1-2-4-55-MC-23-8-40-48
If DJ thinks he should have double his amount of regular PGA TOUR wins, he could well speculate that his tally of majors should be four or five by this stage (he's now 35). Of course, this is the one he does have after taking the title at Oakmont in 2016. That was part of a superb run in the event which featured a quartet of top fours in five years. Winged Foot hosts in 2020 and, again, DJ has a great record in the New York/New Jersey region with victories at Atunyote (2008 Turning Stone), Plainfield (2011 Barclays) and Glen Oaks (2017 Northern Trust). Winged Foot is a Tillinghurst design, as is Bethpage where Johnson was runner-up in last year's PGA.
Open Championship: MC-17-22-43-10-5-3-2-25-27
DJ has 17 top tens in the majors (42 starts) but has only managed three in the Open Championship. There were T9s at Royal Lytham (2012) and Royal Troon (2016) but, notably, his best performance came at this year's host course, Royal St. George's, in 2011. That was another one that got away as, late in round four, he sent his approach at 14 out of bounds, racking up a double and eventually finishing tied for second. He has the game for links - imagination and strong in the wind - so don't discount him in a major where experience counts for plenty (average age of the last ten winners is higher than the other three majors).