As the oldest player on the US Ryder Cup team – simply ancient at 37 – Dustin Johnson didn’t know how much he’d play at Whistling Straits, given the toll both the tension of competition and the arduous hike that comes at Whistling Straits.
As it turned out, this week, DJ was both the GOAT and the goat.
US captain Steve Stricker at some point decided that the former world No.1 was simply too hot to sit on the bench, and Johnson became the only player on either side to play in the maximum of five matches over three days. That gave Johnson a chance to match history and he seized it, becoming only the fifth player to go 5-0-0.
Johnson capped the run on Sunday with a 1-up victory over a game 44-year-old Paul Casey, whose week could not have gone more differently. The Englishman ultimately went without a point.
The last American before Johnson to go 5-0-0 was Larry Nelson in 1979. Arnold Palmer pulled it off in 1967. The other players to do it are: Francesco Molinari (2018) and Gardner Dickinson (1957).
“I did not expect 5-0-0, that’s for sure,” Johnson said. “But I didn’t really expect to play five matches… obviously, got off to a good start and had some good partnerships there with Collin and Xander, so Captain just kept us rolling.
“I felt like the game was coming together. Ryder Cup is always a fun week. It’s so much fun for us to come out and play golf like this just because we don’t usually do it.”
The week provided sizeable redemption for Johnson, who in 2018 in Paris, as the then-No.1 in the world, also played five games and went 1-4-0 in the Americans’ loss.
“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s obviously a lot more fun when you win,” he said.