Dustin Johnson falls short…again

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Updated: April 13, 2016

Lost in the carnage of Jordan Spieth’s epic implosion on the 12th hole this past Sunday was the fact that perhaps the game’s most gifted player failed to capitalize on the opening that was handed to him and the rest of the field.

Plodding along for the most of the final round, Dustin Johnson was still sitting on the fringe of contention when Spieth carded his now infamous quadruple-bogey. On the plus side of one of the most dramatic shifts in golf history, Johnson suddenly was within reach of his first major championship.

But similar to last year’s U.S. Open and the countless other tournaments Johnson has let slip away through the years, his inability to sink enough putts during the entirety of the tournament is what ultimately did him.

On the back nine of Augusta this issue was particularly glaring. After just missing an eagle putt on the 13th hole, Johnson hit an amazing second shot on 15 that set up a 20-foot putt for eagle. It was the kind of shot that only a few players in the world are capable of hitting, and if he sank the ensuing putt he would’ve trailed Danny Willett by just one stroke with three holes to play. Instead, he ran it a little too low, and that was the ballgame.

Given the conditions, it was tough for a great portion of the players to find any kind of consistency on the greens during this year’s tournament. While we can cut Johnson a little slack in this regard, I still find it baffling that a golfer with his out of this world power and skill has these recurring problems with his short game. Does he not put in the time? Or does he assume his length will allow him to eventually overcome his deficiencies around the greens?

I still believe it will eventually be Dustin’s time and he will capture a couple of these big tournaments. He is simply too talented. I just hope that opportunities like the one he had this weekend at the Masters don’t continue to pass him by and turn a career in which he should win five or six major championships into a career in which he wins one or two instead.

 

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