Weekly 18: Dustin Johnson only showed because he could be unstoppable

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Wherever we spent a past week, this most is true: It wasn’t as good as Maui.

The seductiveness of a unaccepted season-opener (and central year-opener) isn’t usually an event to watch some of a world’s best golfers in a prime-time window. It’s to live vicariously by them, as they contest during Kapalua framed by conspicuous rainbows and breaching whales. The whole four-day frolic serves as a wish-you-were-here postcard.

D. Johnson overtakes clever field, wins Kapalua

In a margin that featured a tip 5 players in a world, No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson finished a clever opening matter with a win Sunday in a Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

  • ‘Bones’ to fill in as Thomas’ caddie during Sony

    PGA champion Justin Thomas is regulating Phil Mickelson’s former caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, now a radio on-course reporter, as his caddie subsequent week during a Sony Open while his unchanging caddie recovers from a feet injury.

  • Tiger to start 2018 deteriorate during Torrey Pines

    Tiger Woods will start his 2018 deteriorate in a Farmers Insurance Open during Torrey Pines, starting Jan. 25.

  • This year’s book of a Sentry Tournament of Champions featured another spectacle. His name is Dustin Johnson. And his opening was some-more considerable than any of those healthy wonders.

    The Weekly 18 starts with DJ’s mastery — and what it could meant for a subsequent 51 weeks.

    1. When Johnson is personification a approach he played this week, when he’s busting drives to within inches of a crater (more on that later) and his brief diversion is banishment on all cylinders, it feels unfit that he could ever indeed remove a golf tournament. Granted, we could contend a same thing about a half-dozen of a world’s tip players, yet Johnson owns a conflicting rigging than a rest. Others competence step on a gas pedal with a Sunday lead, yet he usually quietly crushes his drives and fires during flagsticks like it’s a Tuesday afternoon use round.

    2. Obviously, Johnson won’t path any margin he plays conflicting this year. (Well, substantially not.) The trick, of march — and a fundamental disproportion between being Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods — is somehow being means to take those performances from regular-season events to a vital championships. How can a male do that? That stays a riddle for any actor who’s ever claimed he wants to rise 4 times any year. But it wouldn’t be a warn to see DJ totally browbeat in a vital during some point. After all, he’s already shown that kind of ability.

    3. This usually in: Not a whole lot fazes Johnson. The final time he hold a 54-hole lead was late October, when he parlayed a six-stroke advantage into a two-shot detriment to Justin Rose. Other players competence still be picking divided during a injure tissue, yet Johnson simply incited a two-stroke lead into an eight-shot victory. Forget a good pitch and well-spoken putting stroke. Sometimes a terrible memory can be a golfer’s best asset.

    4. It positively won’t be remembered as a Shot of a Year when all 4 majors and a Ryder Cup are pronounced and done, yet Dustin Johnson competence have sealed adult Drive of a Year honors on a initial Sunday of 2018. Playing a downhill, 433-yard, par-4 12th hole, Johnson strike a expostulate that kept going and going and going — until it stopped a few inches brief of a cup. It was a kind of shot that creates we think, when DJ is doing DJ-like things, it’s not even a satisfactory fight.

    5. If he’d indeed holed it for a second-ever par-4 hole-in-one in PGA Tour history, a usually excusable post-round criticism from Johnson would’ve been: “Oh, man. That was so most easier than putting. we should usually try to get a turn in one shot any time.”

    6. Johnson won his initial PGA Tour pretension during a 2008 Turning Stone Resort Championship, rising from a ranks of earnest rookie to achieved champion. He’s never left a deteriorate yet winning. His 11 uninterrupted seasons with a pretension now ranks behind usually streaks from Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, Woods, Lee Trevino and Walter Hagen. Pretty decent company.

    7. And yes, as was mostly forked out on amicable media this weekend, if we check Johnson’s list of wins, we’ll find that he went 0-for-2014. That’s given we have to be clever about how we validate this statistic. No, he hasn’t won in 11 true years, yet given of a wrap-around schedule, he has indeed won in 11 true seasons.

    8. Congrats to Jon Rahm for winning a B moody during Kapalua. OK, so runner-up couldn’t unequivocally be deliberate a pretension row when Johnson was using divided with it, yet Rahm’s opening should portend some-more large things for this year. He deserves some-more credit for his conspicuous ascension. He usually incited pro a year and a half ago, and during this indicate final year, he still didn’t possess a veteran win. With this finish, Rahm jumps from fourth in a universe to third, and there’s a decent possibility he’ll pierce adult again before he moves down.

    9. Here’s a tip for any late caddie looking to get behind into a game: Find a top-five actor who’s about to urge a contest title. For a initial time given bursting from Phil Mickelson final summer, Jim “Bones” Mackay will caddie during a Sony Open this week, holding over Justin Thomas’ bag on an halt basement after his unchanging guy, Jimmy Johnson, suffered a feet injury. So most for march knowledge, though. In all a years they worked together, Mickelson never competed during Waialae.

    10. Thomas is a remarkable believer of a University of Alabama, where he played his college golf, and has been famous to hang around with manager Nick Saban and some of a football players when he’s behind in Tuscaloosa. He’s been outspoken about his passion for a organisation and expectation about Monday’s inhabitant championship game. All of that explains given Mackay, who’s been operative as an on-air researcher for Golf Channel, pronounced he’s rooting for a Crimson Tide, notwithstanding carrying lived in Athens, Georgia. “I wish my male to be happy,” he pronounced with a laugh.

    11. One of a comments that struck me as engaging during Tiger Woods’ pre-tournament news discussion during a Hero World Challenge occurred when he was asked about a destiny and how most he’d be means to practice. He certified reluctance, yet pronounced his surgeon told him, “You’ll be excellent for a rest of your life, given it’s bone on bone.” There were whispers that Woods competence not wish to start his year during Torrey Pines greeted by cold continue and thick severe — a site where he competence have aggravated his behind damage final year. But skipping Torrey would’ve contradicted his doctor’s prognosis. Now that he’s announced that he’ll lapse during a site of 8 veteran wins means he’s listening — and it means he’s gotten over that initial reluctance.

    12. Here’s what qualifies as vital debate in golf: On Thursday, Rickie Fowler wore a button-down Hawaiian shirt during his turn and — gasp! — it was untucked. The amicable media hot-take scale immediately bounced behind and onward between those who believed this was a skill required to move a diversion to a millennial masses and those who suspicion it defied a sequence of conform virginity in a game. Here’s my prohibited take: It’s a shirt. Looked flattering good. The end.

    13. Like a initial few days of any new year, this past week brought headlines of players switching apparatus manufacturers, radically “playing for a new team.” I’m always astounded by how most a ubiquitous open indeed cares. While there can always be an composition period, particular specs are so, well, specialized these days, that a male such as Sergio Garcia can burst from TaylorMade to Callaway and — once he starts personification again — frequency skip a beat. What I’m observant is that we get given this is vital news for a manufacturers themselves, adding a new racer to their stable, yet a initial seductiveness turn always outweighs a contingent impact.

    14. Since we’re articulate equipment, new golf technologies TwistFace (TaylorMade) and Jailbreak (Callaway) were introduced this past week. Not to go all Dad Joke on you, yet given when did record have to sound like a dishonourable comic-book villain? Besides, we still consider Big Bertha sounds approach some-more intimidating.

    15. we wrote a mainstay that will run this week about Don Byers, a real-life Thorton Melon in golf spikes, who is going behind to propagandize during age 61 to contest for a Bellevue University golf team. we had a blast articulate with him for a story, a review we any punctuated with copiousness of laughs. But we also consternation if Byers could be a pioneer. Think about it: If you’re an comparison golfer with eligibility left, would we rather tee it adult with a same foursome during your bar any day, or go hang with some youngsters and see how your diversion stacks adult in a collegiate atmosphere, potentially roving to good courses on a school’s dime? As Byers pronounced to me, “That’s a beauty of this game. In what other foe can we do this?”

    16. Not that we wish to take anticipation golf recommendation from a male who picked Thomas to repeat (he finished T-22) and touted Cameron Smith as a not-so-sleepy sleeper (he finished T-17), yet I’ve always given an corner to Sony Open competitors who played a prior week during Kapalua. Granted, they’re totally conflicting golf courses, and trudging 4 rounds during final week’s lane is adequate to wear down anyone, yet small things like acclimating to a time change and being prepared for foe should offer some advantage. Hey, it worked final year, when Thomas parlayed his year-opening feat into another one during Waialae a subsequent week.

    17. I’ll save we a Google hunt and indirect math: There are 20 players creation a 37-minute (give or take) moody from Maui to Oahu this week, personification a whole Hawaii Swing. On a ball-strikers’ course, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama and Marc Leishman should be among a favorites from this group.

    18. Here is some real, actual, not-fake news: Fowler was named by a National League of Junior Cotillions as No. 1 on a list of “Ten Best-Mannered People” for 2017. That competence sound like a bittersweet satisfaction esteem after another major-less season, yet it’s a pithy designation. Others on a list behind him enclosed David Beckham, Selena Gomez and Meghan Markle — and yes, even Matt Kuchar, who finished ninth. Not bad for a same Fowler whose manners were once questioned when he dared to wear his top retrograde during Augusta National.

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