by Sarah Walkinshaw

A crack double in the Australian Open final has transformed Dustin Johnson’s prospects of making the Open. He has a chance to emulate Dustin Johnson with a win, but first he needs that second place.

The summer of 2018 was a struggle for Dustin Johnson. The disappointment of his sudden absence at the US Open turned into a nightmare for him. It continued into 2019 when he paid the price for dropping back to world number five. This year, however, has been quite different. His 2017 form has been transformed thanks to being in the mix for the US Open. However, as well as his improving form from 2018, he has overcome an injury and slow start to the season.

In truth, he hasn’t needed the Ryder Cup any more than he needed the Masters. He has recovered his form and found his groove. When he was out at the first major, he was very disappointed to not play. With that out of the way, he is not at all surprised at the progress he has made.

Unfortunately, with his game as it is, there is a danger that he has improved too much too soon. While he has shown the ability to recover well, he has not shown enough. He isn’t getting back into the swing of things. Of course, he was able to find a rhythm out of tournaments.

That doesn’t mean he can’t be ambitious. If he gets to a final, it would be great if he was successful against the world’s best players. He could take a winning position with a win, but his game would benefit from a few more rounds with the professionals.

Despite this, Dustin Johnson is one of only three Australians to have won a major. His triumph in the 2017 US Open is certainly one of the proudest, as is his victory at the British Open. Perhaps a win at either of these tournaments would become a bit of a marker for him.

If he wins both of those this year, it will be a very special moment. But not if he doesn’t win the Open.

The Australian will be looking for a boost of confidence, so here are some of the other things he could do to get the roof open.

Be aggressive all the time

Being a strong attacking hitter has led to him winning a number of tournaments. It has even produced him as world number one. According to the 2014 edition of Golf Digest, Dustin Johnson is the second best outside-player on the PGA Tour. However, if he was to win this year, it would be very good news for an Australian. In any case, if Dustin were to win both events, it would help the confidence of everyone in the field. All players would welcome any time Dustin Johnson puts his game in its rightful place.

Get tough on the Australian Open

Between all the luck, the good form and the good natured ribbing, Dustin Johnson wins the Australian Open. What’s more, he does so without winning. I like Dustin Johnson. He is one of the rarest players in the history of the PGA Tour. He is clearly a player that the purists have a passion for. But he also talks the talk and talks the walk. To that end, he has to win the Australian Open in order to get the attention of the purists. The Australian Open has always been one of the most important events in the PGA Tour. This will prove to be his competition.

Want to learn more about Sarah? Email m.walkinshaw@virginmedia.com.au.