When you think about Dustin Johnson’s 2017 season in the future, you’ll have to split it into two sections. One before Augusta, and one after Augusta. And what will the two chapters look like?
The first, we know already. For the first three months of this year, DJ was an unstoppable force. In seven starts to open the season, Johnson had five top-ten finishes, rattling off three straight wins at the Genesis Open and both the WGC Mexico Championship and the Dell Match Play. Then, the fall came.
Literally, of course. DJ went to Augusta as the odds-on favorite to win the Masters, but an unfortunate slip in his rental home forced him to withdraw at the last moment. Johnson didn’t play for a month, returning at the Wells Fargo Championship (at Eagle Point), and making the cut at +1 before going 10-under for the weekend and missing a playoff by a single shot.
By normal standards, Johnson has still been good following his injury. He finished inside the top-15 at both The PLAYERS and the AT&T Byron Nelson, eighth at the RBC Canadian Open, and tied for 17th at Firestone. But he hasn’t truly contended for a win since that fall in April. Can that change this week?
DJ’s last trip to Quail Hollow was in 2011, when he missed the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship. Of course, a lot has changed in six years, and his game otherwise seems to fit the track perfectly. He’s longer than anybody off the tee, and makes up for any missed fairways by drilling over 70 percent of his greens in regulation. He putts decently well, and does better than average on Bermuda greens.
Dustin Johnson may not be the odds-on favorite anymore, but the second chapter of his 2017 story is far from finished.