Last week on the PGA Tour we learned how dominant American superstar Dustin Johnson can be. At the Genesis Open in Los Angeles, Johnson beat Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and American Scott Brown by five strokes after shooting a four round score of -17. It was Johnson’s most dominant win of his professional golf career. His five stroke victory surpassed his four stroke wins at the 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am near San Francisco, where he beat Canadian golf legend Mike Weir, and the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui where he beat Steve Stricker.
However Johnson’s win at the historic Riviera Country Club was one of three reasons why he made golf headlines this past week. A second reason is with the victory, Johnson moves into number one in the World Golf Rankings, past Australian Jason Day, who had been number one the past 47 weeks. The third reason is that Johnson’s fiancée, Paulina Gretzky, is expecting again. This will be Dustin and Paulina’s second child. Two years ago Tatum Johnson was born.
By facing the pressures of number one and a busy personal life, it will be interesting to see how Johnson performs over the next few weeks heading into the Masters. My recommendation to fantasy golf pool players is to stick with Johnson. Not just because of his outstanding career performances from the tee with his driver, but because if he ever struggles with the mental side in golf, he can call his future father-in-law, the great Wayne Gretzky (the greatest athlete who has ever lived) at any time.
A major challenge for all the golfers this week will be travel. After golfing in California this past weekend, the tour moves to Florida for the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens. Dustin Johnson will not be in Florida this week (which means Wayne Gretzky probably won’t be either even though he is with the Edmonton Oilers this week on their road trip in Florida), but that does not mean that other high profile golfers won’t be.
Among the golfers who will be at the Honda Classic are former major champions Louis Oosthuizen, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els of South Africa, Adam Scott of Australia, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley and Zach Johnson of the United States, Danny Willett of England, Padraig Harrington of Ireland and Martin Kaymer of Germany.
Of the 13 major champions listed above, I like Oosthuizen and Kaymer the most. Oosthuizen has a top three finish so far this year in Phoenix, while Kaymer has had past success in Florida as he won the 2014 Players Championship. Other golfers I am recommending are Justin Thomas, who has two wins this year in Hawaii, Charles Howell III, who has three top ten finishes since November and Pieters, who could be considered one of the top European golfers at the moment.