Dustin Johnson: How ‘Grandpa’ led Workforce US’ younger stars to Ryder Cup historical past
However that does not imply he is slowing down one bit.
His robust outing was a key half within the USA’s dominant win, which broke the document for the most important profitable margin in Ryder Cup historical past.
In profitable all 5 of his matches, the two-time main winner grew to become simply the fifth participant to sport a 5-0-0 document at one Ryder Cup, becoming a member of Arnold Palmer, Gardner Dickinson, Larry Nelson and Francesco Molinari.
Affectionally coined “Grandpa” by his teammate Justin Thomas, Johnson was questioned whether or not — because the oldest member of the US crew — he’d be capable to sustain together with his youthful colleagues within the celebrations afterwards.
His response was emphatic. “Ab-….-solutely. Subsequent query.”
Whereas some would possibly wrestle with being the oldest in a crew, Johnson took it in his stride all weekend, appearing because the fulcrum to permit the six US rookies to strut their stuff.
And having such spectacular teammates and such a great bond as a crew allowed them to be all of the extra profitable, in keeping with Johnson.
“Clearly, that is the primary crew the place I used to be the oldest,” Johnson stated instantly after beating Europe’s Paul Casey in Sunday’s singles match.
“On the opposite groups, I felt like I used to be a youthful man on the crew. A bit of completely different dynamic. The fellows all received alongside nice. All of us have one factor in frequent: we don’t wish to lose. We had an incredible week, and it confirmed.”
Should you had informed Johnson earlier than the Ryder Cup that he would win all 5 of his matches, he says he would have known as you “loopy.”
The 2020 Masters champion, with raucous US crowds cheering him on, remained his ordinary calm and picked up self all through the weekend.
As soon as once more paired with Morikawa on Saturday morning, they beat Casey and Tyrrell Hatton, and on Saturday afternoon, they simply beat Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy earlier than Johnson’s Singles victory towards Casey on Sunday.
Though US captain Steve Stricker prioritized youth over expertise in an try to result in success — a choice which has undoubtedly been vindicated in hindsight — the younger guys impressed Johnson.
“This week, sure, we had lots of younger guys, however they’re younger and they’re rookies on the Ryder Cup, but it surely did not really feel like they have been simply because they’ve all performed properly in such huge moments and massive tournaments that it did not really feel like they have been rookies,” he stated.
“They usually did not play like they have been rookies. They stepped as much as the plate they usually all needed it. And like Xander and all of us have all stated all week, the one factor all of us have in frequent is all of us hate to lose. And in order that’s how we got here collectively, and all of us performed prefer it.”
On account of Johnson’s stellar play and dedication, he was named as one of many two winners of the inaugural Nicklaus-Jacklin award.
Named after two of golf’s greats and two former Ryder Cup captains — Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin — the award seeks to commemorate “sportsmanship, teamwork and efficiency within the context of higher decision-making.”
Nicklaus and Jacklin displayed these qualities within the iconic 1969 Ryder Cup, when Nicklaus conceded a two-foot putt to Jacklin for a halved match that resulted within the first tie in Ryder Cup historical past. It has since been coined “The Concession.”
Johnson was named alongside Sergio Garcia as the primary recipients of the award. In his fifth Ryder Cup look, Johnson’s imperious kind was a “dream.”
“For the primary 4 matches, I had nice companions in Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele,” he stated. “We performed nice collectively and jelled rather well. I’m so pleased with my teammates and my captains and cherished the assistance from the followers. This award is one thing to be very pleased with. All 12 of us confirmed nice teamwork and got here collectively as a crew.”