Depending what happens in the final two weeks of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, it seems logical that Dustin Johnson could cap his season with a Player of the Year award if he takes the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday. That would be a U.S. Open, Bridgestone Invitational and FedEx Cup win in a year where nobody has multiple major championship wins (including The Players Championship and 2016 Rio Olympics).
Johnson is currently T5 and just three back of leader Kevin Chappell at TPC Boston after a 68-66 start on Friday and Saturday (the Deutsche Bank Championship is played Friday-Monday of Labor Day weekend).
Only Brian Harman, Jimmy Walker and Paul Casey separate Johnson from Chappell. Johnson went on a birdie binge on Saturday by making six in his first 16 holes before a double bogey at the final hole ruined his chances of finishing just one shot back of Chappell.
Dustin Johnson was poised to join Chappell in the lead until his long iron on the 18th sailed well right into the trees. He had to take a penalty drop, hit wedge on to about 45 feet and then three-putted for a double bogey. He still shot 66 and was three behind.
Still, Johnson is striking it beautifully this week. He’s first in driving and first in strokes gained tee to green after two tournaments where he performed below average for him (a missed cut at the PGA Championship and a T18 at The Barclays).
The PGA Tour Player of the Year award race seems to be between Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Jason Day. All of them have monstrous wins (and in Stenson’s case a historic one). Jordan Spieth and others could jump into the mix with a big closing stretch at the BMW Championship and Tour Championship, but Johnson is in the driver’s seat.
Of course, Johnson doesn’t need an award to validate his year (or career), but it would certainly speak to the fact that he has finally fully capitalized on his outlandish talent. He’s been awesome all year, and a win here would cap it off nicely.
Among those at the very top of the leaderboard, Johnson certainly has the most staying power. Justin Rose and Patrick Reed are a shot behind him and Spieth and Sergio Garcia just beyond that. But with a big final two days, Johnson can fire an alert at the European Ryder Cup team and solidify his slot as the best player of 2016.
It’s all right in front of him. Can he take it?
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Dustin Johnson looks for playoff win to cap incredible season