A year ago, Dustin Johnson was the clubhouse leader after 54 holes of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and because of weather, was given the trophy anyway. On Sunday, the big-hitting Johnson will have to play 18 more than last year to repeat at the famed links.
In his third round at Spyglass Hill, Johnson made two eagles, each on par-5s, on his way to a 64 that could have been one better if not for a three-putt bogey on his 18th hole. That might be frustrating, but what isn't is the quiet success Johnson has had in his time on the PGA Tour.
Think about it ... he's 25, yet never gets coupled in the "young gun" conversation with the likes of Anthony Kim, Rory McIlroy or Rickie Fowler. Johnson won on tour when he was 23, and if he can somehow duplicate his round one success at Pebble, where he shot 8-under thanks to five closing birdies, he will have three wins and be arguably the most successful young golfer on the PGA Tour.
The problem is, people forget this because it's easier to focus on some of the bigger names that we've been fed for years, but it is safe to say that Johnson has been dominate his entire life. A solid college player, Johnson won two big amateur events before turning pro. As a professional, it only took a year before he ran through Q-School, finishing 14th, and securing a year on the big boy's tour.
So far this season, he has two top-20s and a tie for third last week at the Northern Trust. In '09 he was the only player to win a tournament when leading the field in driving distance. If he can boom it around Pebble successfully on Sunday, it would be three wins in three years on tour. Not too shabby for a guy we tend to forget about.