Dustin Johnson gave up a six shot lead over four holes in two days during the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. Turnes out all that really mattered was when he put the peddle to the metal Sunday to capture what just may be the biggest win of his career at the Sheshan International GC in Shanghai, China.
Playing in the same group with Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell who were nipping at his heels, Johnson broke free from a three-way battle that had started from the first hole. The break away came on the back nine when Johnson played five holes in 5-under par. He closed with a 6-under 66, good enough for a three-shot win over Ian Poulter to capture his first World Golf Championships title.
What happened in Shanghai was that Dustin Johnson, in addition to checking for $1.4 million of the $8.5 million purse along with 550 FedEx points, proved to himself and others he was more than just a good ole boy from South Carolina with a lot of manners and talent who could hit the ball past everybody. Johnson proved he has the mental toughness to face down the best players in the world and not let a bad shot be his undoing as has been the case.
Johnson turned pro in 2007 amid a flurry of ‘tower analysts’ who, while acknowledging his awesome distance, only wanted to discuss the position of the back of his left wrist at the top of his swing and how he’d have a hard time with consistency unless or until he corrected that flaw as they saw it. In short the consensus was he may hit the ball far, he just didn’t always know where it would wind up.
I believe and think history confirms that tour players who try to revamp their golf swings generally wind up in the abyss of player obscurity. So I am not misunderstood, tweaking one’s swing can and usually is a good thing as in the case of Henrik Stenson and the work he has done with Pete Cowan over time to ‘shore up the foundation’ of his swing.