“I need to get to quantity 3 first,” he stated. “However I do. I dream of successful a large number of majors. Simply hadn’t rather took place but. With a bit of luck, this one will assist, regardless that, give me a bit of spring.”
There may be such a lot proof that Johnson, even at 36, may well be in a position to split himself. As Rory McIlroy, winner of 4 majors himself, stated Sunday, “He’s been knocking at the door see you later.” In his previous 11 majors, he has 3 runner-up finishes, a 3rd, two extra top-10s — and Sunday’s win. Then there’s his file over his previous seven tournaments of any sort: tied for 2d, first, 2d, first, tied for 6th, tied for 2d — and Sunday’s win.
There’s a consistency there that belies his perceived method. McIlroy, who performs continuously with Johnson close to their Jupiter, Fla., houses, performed the primary two rounds at Augusta Nationwide with Johnson. He described his method as: “See ball, hit ball. See putt, hollow putt. Pass to the following.”
“He makes the sport so easy,” McIlroy stated, “or makes it glance so easy from time to time.”
However what we’re finding out now’s there’s a complexity to Johnson that we haven’t, thus far, allowed.
“He’s smarter than you assume,” McIlroy stated Sunday.
“He’s switched on,” McIlroy stated, “extra so than he we could on, extra so than everybody within the media thinks. I’ll simply put it that manner.”
K, let’s no longer factor Johnson a Mensa card simply because he gained the Masters. Nevertheless it’s transparent we underestimate him on account of his demeanor and since what he places forth to the general public has all of the taste of cream of wheat — with out brown sugar, and not using a fruit, with the milk at the aspect.
“His golfing IQ is off the charts,” stated Claude Harmon III, his trainer.
Sunday’s spherical provides proof, and the teachings Johnson taught us within the Masters may well be implemented to majors to practice. At the par-Five 13th — attackable for a participant of Johnson’s prodigious period — he took Three-wood off the tee, then laid up with a 6-iron. The end result: birdie. On the par-Five 15th — additionally reachable in two — Johnson’s tee shot drifted left, so he used to be rather blocked out by means of some timber. His reaction: flippantly lay up with a low Eight-iron to the proper. The end result: any other birdie.
That is an development of pondering, of method, of processing data. Johnson’s earlier main got here in 2016, on the U.S. Open at Oakmont. At that time, he used to be nonetheless a bomber with a driving force — and no longer a lot else.
“When he gained at Oakmont, he used to be recognized for his period,” Harmon stated. “That used to be it. Now, I believe he’s as whole a golfer as there may be within the trendy recreation.”
So, then, extra majors, proper?
“I think in reality just right about the whole thing that I’m doing,” Johnson stated. “I think in reality assured within the golfing recreation.”
There’s no reason why to doubt him. However there may be quite a lot of proof that means one main — and even two — doesn’t simply beget any other.
Bring to mind the skill represented by means of the names Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Morikawa and DeChambeau. That’s 9 golfers, all main champions since 2013. Scott, Rose and Day had been ranked No. 1 on the earth. Not one of the 9 are slouches or flukes. But their overall majors gained: 9. Or one apiece.
Assume, too, of one of the crucial perfect avid gamers of the previous few generations. Greg Norman as regards to outlined his generation — and gained two majors. Martin Kaymer of Germany reached No. 1 on the earth, beat Johnson on the 2010 PGA Championship, gained the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst — and didn’t such a lot as qualify for this 12 months’s Masters. Fred Couples, Tom Kite, Paul Azinger, Tom Lehman, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, David Duval, Jim Furyk. Every used to be a possible favourite in each main he began over a duration of years. Every gained only a unmarried main.
This isn’t a slight towards any of them. What it’s: a testomony to how tough successful even one will also be. Now, Morikawa is solely 23, and DeChambeau and Thomas are simply 27. There may well be masses extra to return. But none is assured anything else. No longer each Masters is Tiger Woods in 1997 — with extra trophies clearly to practice. The avid gamers who’ve gained a minimum of 3 majors this century: Woods, Phil Mickelson, McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka. McIlroy, for example, is 31, in his high, assumed to win extra. The newest of his 4 majors: six years in the past on the PGA.
“Clearly, the primary main’s the toughest,” Johnson stated. “However then I might say the second is solely as onerous. They’re all tough to win. You already know, it’s simply onerous to get it accomplished in a significant for some reason why.”
Which brings us again to what Johnson has realized from his reports, and what we’ve got realized from his method. DeChambeau used to be the buzzy participant headed into this Masters, no longer most effective on account of his six-shot victory on the U.S. Open however on account of his brazen try to alternate the game by means of the usage of natural distance to overpower lessons.
The sector, together with Johnson, can be silly to not take into account. In order DeChambeau used to be boasting about the usage of a 48-inch driving force — the utmost allowed by means of the principles, a choice he held again on at Augusta — Johnson tinkered with a 47-inch fashion. May he get extra distance? Sure. Would he be higher on account of it? No.
“It’s been very attention-grabbing in that every one this discuss, ‘We’re going to have to switch the ball,’ and Bryson rewriting golfing, D.J. did precisely what Tiger did again within the day: ‘Let me hit a number of fairways; I’m already so long as everyone else,’ ” Harmon stated. “If you happen to have a look at the run Tiger used to be on in 2000, 2001 [when he won four straight majors], he wasn’t looking to hit it previous everyone. D.J.’s in no way looking to hit it previous other folks. He is attempting to present himself as many probabilities.”
His subsequent probability in a significant, if the virus permits, might be at a back-to-back Masters in April. If that’s the way it works out, he’ll arrive right here as a determine no longer most effective extra revered on account of what he did this previous weekend however extra understood. No longer simply in his recreation however in what he desires out of it.
“He doesn’t throw golf equipment or curse at me or do any of that stuff, and that’s simply because he’s a category act,” Johnson’s brother and longtime caddie, Austin, stated. “That doesn’t imply he doesn’t care. The man cares greater than any one. I simply assume as a result of we’re Southern guys, laid-back and communicate a bit of sluggish, everyone thinks we don’t in reality care.”
He has the sport. He has the force. He now has some proof that he can shut a significant when given the chance. And what the historical past of the game presentations us is that promises Johnson completely not anything. Profitable majors is difficult. Every victory will have to be liked.