There are numerous active PGA Tour golfers who have one major. But no one with a career like Dustin Johnson.
The 36-year-old already has 21 wins on the PGA Tour, including the fifth-longest streak as number one in the world.
A second major immortalizes Johnson as one of the all-time great golfers.
This is @DJohnsonPGA‘s fourth 54-hole lead/co-lead in a major.
His 3 previous finishes:
2018 U.S. Open (3rd)
2015 U.S. Open (T2)
2010 U.S. Open (T8) pic.twitter.com/A0eydQIqvB
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 9, 2020
“I’m going to just try and go out and shoot as low as I can tomorrow just like I did today,” Johnson said. “All I can control is myself.”
Dustin Johnson isn’t a stranger to being in contention at majors. He’s held the 54-hole lead three times previously: 2010, 2015, and 2018 U.S. Opens. But all three instances, Johnson never claimed victory.
In 2010, Johnson shot 82 in his final round. That one can be chalked up to lack of experience being in the mix on Sunday at a major.
At Chambers Bay in 2015, Johnson infamously missed a par putt on the 72nd hole that gave Jordan Spieth the title. It cast doubt, on whether someone of Johnson’s talent, could capture major championship glory.
It took Johnson winning the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, a year after his collapse in 2015, to silence the critics. Winning a major is difficult, getting back in the winner’s circle even more challenging.
“I definitely have experience in this situation that definitely will help tomorrow,” Johnson said. “I’ve been in the hunt a bunch of times in a major. I’ve got one major, so having that experience is definitely going to be beneficial tomorrow.”
Since his lone major win in 2016, Johnson has there top-ten finishes, including a third at the 2018 U.S. Open. Now, at the PGA Championship, Johnson is in a familiar spot with the 54-hole lead.
Unlike in previous majors, Johnson only has a one-shot cushion. 17 players are within four shots of the lead. One of them, is Brooks Koepka, the two-time defending PGA champion. The four-time major champion is confident heading into Sunday, knowing that his pedigree at these events surpasses the 54-hole leader.
Food for thought as we get into the weekend of Brooks' 25th Major Championship start.
Fewest Major Starts Needed to Win 5 Majors:
Tiger Woods-> 22
Arnold Palmer-> 23
Jack Nicklaus-> 25 pic.twitter.com/otm0hP9ulB
— PGA News Feed (@PGANewsFeed) August 8, 2020
“I like my chances,” Koepka said after his round. “When I’ve been in this position before, I’ve capitalized. I don’t know, he’s only won one. I’m playing good. I don’t know, we’ll see.”
The numbers show that Johnson has the tools to win. His five-under 65 included eight birdies on the card, making him lead the field in strokes gained: putting (2.235). Johnson showed resolve after a double-bogey on the ninth, shooting 31 on the back 9.
Winning Sunday solidifies Johnson’s affirmation that he has grown as a golfer, since those earlier majors where he didn’t capitalize in the crucial moments.
“I have been out here awhile now. I’ve been in contention a lot, and I’ve got it done a lot of times. Tomorrow, it’s no different. I need to be out — I’m going to have to play good golf if I want to win.”