The Open: Why Dustin Johnson can make history at Royal Troon
With the 145th Open Championship looming nearer and nearer, Dustin Johnson must be rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of grabbing a third straight title, and a second successive Major.
Johnson is bidding to become only the third player since 1982 to win the U.S and British Open in the same year, and the American would join legends Tom Watson and Tiger Woods in doing so.
Given his form right now, there’s every chance DJ can do it too.
The 32-year-old finally ridded himself of the bridesmaid tag at Oakmont last month, bagging his first Major after 11 top-10 finishes in the big four, in addition to many infamous weekend collapses.
Even last year at St Andrews, Johnson stormed through the first two rounds, only to tumble down the order on Saturday and Sunday.
But in 2016 it looks like the South Carolina-born ace is finally getting his game together, and that’s a daunting prospect for everyone else.
Johnson followed up his U.S Open win with victory at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, and what was once his great weakness – homing in from 100 yards out – is now his strength and statistically he is top in that category this year.
A quick look at his last four tournaments shows the incredible form Johnson is in, posting 1,1,5,3.
He hasn’t missed a cut this year, and can add a fourth at the Masters, a third at Shell Houston and a fourth at the Northern Trust Open on a stunning 2016 C.V.
Links golf doesn’t faze Johnson either, and with Royal Troon being on the slightly shorter side, birdies could come freely if he can find his rhythm.
It’s no surprise then, to see that the American’s odds for victory at Royal Troon have halved in the last three weeks from 16/1 into 8s.
Jordan Spieth is at 10/1 and it’s that quartet who are starting to form an impregnable group of Major-winning legends.
But of the four, it’s very clear who the form man is heading to Ayrshire next week.
With the pressure of seeking that first Major no longer an issue, with the confidence of successive wins, and with so many aspects of his game steadily improving, there’s a strong case for Johnson being the man to beat next week.
Only six men have ever won the U.S and British Opens in the same year, but Johnson is very well poised to join that illustrious list next week.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.