Dustin Johnson’s withdrawal Thursday before his first round tee time was particularly disappointing to the world’s No. 1 player because of how well he was playing entering the Masters, with wins in three straight PGA Tour starts.
But unfortunately it’s consistent with the excitement and drama, sometimes in the form of bizarre occurrences, that continue to involve Johnson since he joined the PGA Tour in 2008.
Majors are often involved.
At the 2010 PGA Championship, he was penalized two strokes for grounding his club on the 72nd hole in what he thought was a waste area but in fact was a bunker. He missed out on a playoff by the two shots.
In 2015, he had a chance to win the U.S. Open but three-putted from about 12 feet on the last hole on unusually bumpy greens and lost by a shot to Jordan Spieth.
In the final round of his U.S. Open victory last year he was penalized because his ball moved on the fifth green, even though it was unclear if he caused it to move. He played most of the back nine not knowing if he would be assessed a penalty or not, leading his competitors to come to his defense and the USGA to acknowledge it regretted the way the penalty was handled.
Johnson missed the 2012 Masters early in a three-month break from the PGA Tour, saying he injured his back lifting a jet ski, then missed six months of the PGA Tour season in 2014-15, saying he needed to improve his lifestyle, which he apparently has.
A Golf.com report claimed the two breaks were tour suspensions related to failed drug tests. Johnson and his team denied the report.
Johnson’s personal life is just as eventful and notable. He is engaged to Paulina Gretzky, a model and Instagram legend whose father is perhaps the greatest hockey player ever, Wayne Gretzky.
Nary a dull moment for the Columbia native and Coastal Carolina alumnus.