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Off The Bench

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Off The Bench
Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

19:53 10 Sep 2020


With $15m dollars debited to his bank account, Dustin Johnson gave a small fist pump, posed for his obligatory photo call and retreated home to prepare for his next outing following last weekend's FedEx Cup win.

It was the most lucrative of his three wins since golf restarted after the COVID-19 shutdown and yet another milestone in a career that looks set to continue on an upward trajectory.

Once judged as just another one of golf's bombers, Johnson has refined his game to become the established world number one.

Despite that, the 36-year-old still has only one major win to his name; the 2016 US Open.

On this week's Golf Weekly, Nathan Murphy raised the question of whether the American golfer was overachieving at the moment, or should he have more majors in his trophy cabinet?

"This guy is seriously talented, seriously talented with a golf club in his hand," Peter Lawrie replied, dismissing the notion that Johnson was overachieving.

While Lawrie said he recognises Johnson "doesn't have the perfect golf swing," he also contended that there was no obvious weakness in his game.

"He is a remarkable character. He's been out there, as you said, for a long time and looks seriously talented and deserves everything he's got."

Pushed to highlight one area needing improvement, Lawrie again argued that there wasn't anything physical he could see based on the American's current play.

"He putts exceptionally well, his reading of the greens was superb.

"Now, I know he brings in his brother [to caddie] but half the time I think he brings in the brother just for the brother to have something to do, because he doesn't seem to listen to him, you know. He's looking at his green-reading book and seems to be able to pick the line beautifully."

Dustin Johnson's fine-tuning

One of the most impressive things about his rise through the PGA Tour, Lawrie explained was Johnson's ability to recognise where he needed to improve and carry out the fine-tuning required.

"He found that there was a weakness in his game," Lawrie noted. "He found that if he could improve himself from inside 100 yards or 120 yards he could be world number 1.

"And he really has practiced and dialed in his yardages. He hits his wedges in very, very close – you'd rarely see him miss a green with a wedge."

"Is that the big difference between Rory [McIlroy] and him?" Murphy asked.

"Yeah, very much so, because he drives it as well as Rory. He's not frightened of the driver in any shape or form and maybe you'd say his course management might be a little bit better than Rory, possibly in certain ways," Lawrie explained.

"You know, the only thing you would say is he has put himself in a few positions where he should have won and didn't and when it does get a little bit close he does get a little bit jittery but I think now that he's more comfortable in his surroundings as world number one, as the best player and having won the FedEx [he looks more comfortable in leading]."

OTB Sports Golf Weekly is in association with Now TV, stream the start of the Premier League, Serie A and EFL Championship on Now TV…your sport on your terms.


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Dustin Johnson Fedex Cup Golf Weekly Peter Lawrie

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