Dustin Johnson poised to become golf's new dominant force


Dustin Johnson won the Genesis Open in convincing fashion on Sunday, defeating a star-studded field on a course in which he had racked up a number of near-misses.

The five-shot victory started a new era for Johnson as the world's top-ranked golfer.

Not long ago, he was a tragic figure always getting something wrong. Whether it was a rules gaffe at the PGA Championship or an implosion during the final round of a U.S. Open, or a shanked two-iron at The Open, it seemed as though the long-hitting American was never going to reach his potential.

Those days are long gone, now.

Johnson won the U.S. Open last year, despite a rules mistake by the USGA, and he used that momentum to ultimately be named Player of the Year. With his victory at Riviera Country Club this week, Johnson has now won at least one event in 10 straight seasons on the PGA Tour.

Talks of a 'Big Three' ramped up early last year with Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, fresh off a breakout 2015, dominating headlines. While all three of those players are still firmly in the discussion for best player in the world, Johnson is the one currently holding the mantle.

Injuries have derailed Day's progress since falling just short of Jimmy Walker at the PGA Championship last year. His back and recurring vertigo have left his form in doubt.

McIlroy is currently rehabbing from a rib injury, but he showed signs of his brilliance en route to claiming his first FedEx Cup trophy. Winning a fifth major this year will be his priority.

Spieth really took a step back in 2016, despite winning three times worldwide. Though he now has company at the top, Spieth still holds favourable comparisons to Tiger Woods at this stage in his career.

Meanwhile, Johnson has won four tournaments since the U.S. Open, including a World Golf Championship event and a FedEx Cup playoff event. Originally known as just a masher off the tee, Johnson has developed a short game to match his strength.

Wheels started to spin on Johnson's career late in 2014 when he announced he would be taking a six-month leave of absence to sort out personal issues.

Since then, Johnson has risen from the ashes both on the course and off it. Now engaged to Paulina Gretzky, the couple announced Saturday that they are expecting their second child.

Johnson has always seemed at ease. Even when he was blowing up in the middle of the biggest events with millions of fans watching him. He never blinked an eye. He always came back stronger.

Still just 32 years old, Johnson has plenty of time to add a plethora of major titles before he hangs up his mighty golf shoes.

In the the post-Tiger era, Johnson is the leader of many young stars re-raising the mantle while carrying golf into new heights.