So as you may have heard, Dustin Johnson had a few problems on Sunday at the U.S. Open, surrendering a three-stroke lead within what seemed like instants. By the time that photo above was taken on No. 7, Johnson was in full free-fall mode, and when he spanged his tee shot off the hull of that trawler above, it was all over.*
Johnson faced the media at the AT&T National for the first time since Pebble on Tuesday, and with strong voice and a healthy dose of we'll-get-'em-next-time clichés, insisted that oh yes, his rough afternoon was just that, a rough afternoon, and he'd be right as rain and give 110 percent and the sun will come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar and all that.
"It was gone when I left California," Johnson said of the collapse. "It was a tough day, but golfers have tough days, and it's how quick you can get over them is the best part." Johnson further said that he played a few holes on his off week last week, hanging with friends who — if they were anything like my friends — had to do everything they could to keep from demonstrating how you're supposed to chip a golf ball.
"I got a call from Greg Norman, I got a call from some of my friends, and all of them told me that they learned more from cases they'd lose or from times that they'd lose than they did from when they'd win," he said. "Golf is a learning process nonstop."
(Aside: Greg Norman? Isn't that like greasy-handed English soccer goalie Robert Green receiving a call from Bill Buckner? What could he possibly say? "Welcome to the club!")
In a bit of coincidental timing, Robert Garrigus, who melted down at Memphis just before the Open, also spoke to the media, echoing Johnson's words. "People who play golf know how hard it is to win," he said. "Look at Dustin Johnson in the Open, look at Justin Rose last week. It's so hard. Golf is one of the hardest sports in the world, and to do what I did in Memphis, you know, it sucks, it really does. But there's nothing you can — nothing I can do about it now."
"I look at it as just a bad day," Johnson said. "It was just a bad day for me."
Fair enough. So he'll be able to ease back into the game, since he's playing the first two rounds with ... Tiger Woods. Oh. Well, good luck with all that, Dustin.
* — No, he didn't. But it's not outside the realm of possiblity.
- Dustin Johnson