Dustin Johnson Is a Great Golfer Who Can’t Close Majors

The 34-year-old's résumé has just one major victory on it

Dustin Johnson plays during a practice round. (Christian Petersen/Getty)
Dustin Johnson plays during a practice round. (Christian Petersen/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / June 13, 2019 1:10 pm

Currently ranked as the No. 2 player in the world, Dustin Johnson is one of the top players on the PGA Tour by any measure.

He’s got more wins than any active golfer other than Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson and he’s won tournaments on multiple continents in the past year.

But, as impressive as it is, the 34-year-old’s résumé has just one major victory on it.

The biggest reason for that is Johnson has trouble closing in big moments in majors. For example, in last month’s PGA Championship, Johnson was on an epic run on Sunday and was closing in on leader Brooks Koepka — but he then bogeyed two of the final three holes.

“I’ve had quite a few chances, and I’ve felt like a few of them, I really didn’t do anything,” Johnson said before the tournament, and he certainly wasn’t wrong.

He’s had similar meltdowns in the final rounds of majors in the past including at the PGA Championship in 2010, the U.S. Open in 2015 and the U.S. Open in 2010.

“This points to Johnson’s true issue: It’s not that he struggles to perform at majors, but that he struggles to close them out,” FiveThirtyEight reports. “According to a round-by-round analysis of Johnson’s true strokes gained, his numbers plummet from 2.03 and 2.58 during the opening rounds of majors to 1.82 and 1.03, respectively, on the weekend. At nonmajors, however, his average true strokes gained spike after cut day and are at their highest on championship Sundays.”

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