Full Name: Dustin Hunter Johnson
Date of Birth: June 22nd, 1984
Place of Birth: Columbia, South Carolina
Height: 6ft 4in
Turned Professional: 2007
Photo of Dustin Johnson by Keith Allison
Dustin Johnson is one of the most promising talents on the US PGA Tour, ranking in the top five players for five consecutive years. He is also one of the longest drivers on the Tour, consistently finishing third in the driving distance statistics. His powerful all-round game has made him a contender in the major championships and he has registered a top ten finish in at least one major for each of the past four seasons.
Johnson won the Monroe Invitational and the Northeast Amateur in 2007 and was part of the successful American Walker Cup and Palmer Cup teams that year. He immediately turned professional and secured his PGA Tour card at qualifying school for the following season.
He won his first Tour event as a rookie in October 2008 at the Turning Stone Resort Championship in upstate New York. He followed up early in 2009 when he won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, an event shortened to 54 holes due to strong winds and heavy rain. Rounds of 67, 69 and 65 gave him an impressive 15 under par total and a four-stroke victory over Mike Weir. With earnings just short of $3 million, Johnson finished the 2009 season ranked 15th on the PGA Tour money list. This reflected his steady improvement from 42nd place in 2008. He also made his first top ten finish in a major when tied for that spot in the US PGA.
In February 2010, Johnson defeated David Duval and J.B. Holmes by a single stroke to successfully defend his AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am title. He put himself in contention for a first major success when a third round 66 at the same venue gave him a three-shot lead over Graeme McDowell in the US Open. However, his inexperience told in the final round as he slumped to an 82 and finished tied in eighth place. It still gave him his best finish in a major tournament.
A tie for 14th at the British Open was followed by an even more prominent display in the PGA. He led the field by one stroke with a hole to play but made a bogey. It seemed that he would be involved in a playoff with Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer but he was adjudged to have grounded his club in a bunker and sustained a two-stroke penalty. He dropped to a tie for fifth place and Kaymer eventually winning the tournament. A lesser player may have taken a long time to recover from that disappointment but Johnson claimed his fourth Tour win at the BMW Championship at Cog Hill in September, finishing the 2010 season ranked 4th on the money list.
Johnson began 2011 with a runner-up spot at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and filled the same spot at the British Open at Royal St George's, finishing in a tie with Phil Mickelson. Johnson opened with rounds of 70-68-68 to sit just one stroke behind Darren Clarke, a position that he maintained for much of the final round. A double-bogey at the par five 14th, after his second shot went out of bounds, effectively ended his title hopes but he hung on for a share of second. It had been a special week for Johnson, including a hole in one on the par three 16th hole. It was the third time that he had been in the final pairing of a major championship.
A two-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar gave him a fifth PGA Tour title at The Barclays in 2011, another tournament reduced to 54 holes but this time due to the threat of Hurricane Irene. He now rose to a career-best fourth in the Official World Rankings and also finished the year fourth in the US money list. A back injury delayed his start to the 2012 season but he was soon back to winning ways, adding a sixth Tour title in the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee at TPC Southwind.
Johnson has already notched his first victory 2013 in the opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, another tournament reduced to 54 holes due the bad weather. With an uninterrupted preparation, it would be no surprise to see him competing strongly in the majors again this year.