124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


Dustin Johnson has the perfect DJ reaction to possibly losing his No. 1 ranking

February 07, 2018

Harry How/Getty Images

Dustin Johnson doesn’t usually sweat the small stuff. But what about something relatively big—like losing his No. 1 spot on the World Ranking?

Well, that’s doesn’t seem to bother him much, either.

Playing this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, his first PGA Tour event since his eight-stroke runaway at the Sentry Tournament of Champions last month, Johnson could fall from No. 1, according to reports, if he finishes worse than 45th and World No. 2 Jon Rahm wins on the Monterey Peninsula. But if Johnson had any trepidation about that, he hid if well during his pre-tournament press conference.

“I mean, it’s just how it goes,” Johnson said. “If he would pass me, he would pass me.”

OK, then. Cool.

Perhaps DJ’s laid-back thinking stems from the fact that it’s hard to imagine him finishing poorly at Pebble, given his previous experience in the AT&T. Two times Johnson has won the title (2009 and 2010), and in 10 starts he has seven top-10 finishes and just one missed cut.

More to the point, Johnson feels confident about his own game, particularly after his performance in Hawaii. (He also finished T-9 while playing in the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi event). Recenlty, he also visited his swing coach, Butch Harmon, in Las Vegas to tighten up his swing as he prepares for a stretch of starts that will include defending his titles at next week’s Genesis Open at Riviera and next month’s WGC-Mexico Championship.

Ultimately, Johnson knows that the fate of his ranking really is under his own control.

“If I keep playing well, and keep winning, then, no, I’m going to stay No. 1. … If I keep playing like I am, and how I should, then, yeah, I’ll be there at the end of the year.”

No sweat.