Missing LinksFebruary 17, 2016

Dustin Johnson’s talent sullied by near-misses ‘has been his pro signature’

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“[Dustin] Johnson’s brilliance, so quickly besmirched by mediocrity, has been his pro signature. Is he to be judged by the victories he has earned in eight consecutive seasons — a feat matched by no one on the PGA Tour in that stretch — or for the confounding near-misses, most notably in major championships?” Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union-Tribune asks in this profile of the runner-up in the Northern Trust Open last year.

Opportunities to see the best player in any sport performing, up close, with few spectators, presented itself on Monday at the Riviera Country Club, where Jordan Spieth participated in the Collegiate Challenge. “Monday was a day to walk with Jordan Spieth at Riviera, to see the world’s best golfer at closer proximity than you’re ever likely to see the world’s best anything do anything,” columnist Mark Whicker of the Los Angeles Daily News, on site for the occasion, writes. “Not many global heads of sport spend their Mondays like this, but Spieth remains true to both school and Old School.”

“There is an increasing buzz among the players, men and women, about the prospect of competing,” Peter Dawson said in this story by Martin Dempster of the Scotsman. Dawson, the former chief executive of the R&A, is now the president of the International Golf Federation. “Golf needs to put up a good show at the Olympics and secure its position in the Games,” he said. “Not only have we in golf worked hard on the event and the facilities, but we’ve also worked very hard about being a good member of the Olympic team. That’s very important, too.”

The 20th anniversary of the release of the film “Happy Gilmore” was not celebrated at Riviera Country Club on Tuesday, but it was remembered by PGA Tour pros, ESPN’s Jason Sobel reports. “I've seen it at least 50 times,” Smylie Kaufman guessed. “It’s one of my favorites. I can quote it all.” “Gotta be over 50,” Robert Streb estimated. “We owned it and had a TV in our van as kids, so we saw it a lot.”