The Dustin Johnson mentality, summed up in a food story

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson hits his tee shot on the 4th hole at Augusta National Golf Club last week.

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Dustin Johnson, at last week’s Masters, entered the final round with a four-shot lead. After five holes, it was down to one. He had bogeyed the par-3 4th hole. He had bogeyed the par-4 5th hole. Entering Sunday, he had one arm in his first green jacket. About an hour in, it was back on a hanger. 

Johnson then birdied the par-3 6th. And the par-5 8th. And the par-5 13th. And the par-4 14th. And the par-5 15th. He won by five strokes. 

“Mentally, he’s very resilient out on the golf course,” said Justin Rose, a former world No. 1. Rose had seen it before.   

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Johnson, a few years back, hit a tee shot well left and out of bounds at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. He reloaded, hit one well right but safe and began walking off the tee.    

“And we’re walking off the tee, and I’m eating something, and he comes up to me, and he’s like, ‘Hey, bro, what’s in the sandwich?’” Rose told GolfTV

“You know, so I would have been, like, livid and fuming and not talking to anyone, but where he’s like, ‘What’s in the sandwich?’ He had already forgotten the out-of-bounds shot. That’s just a little anecdote of how DJ goes about his business.”

His sandwich affinity, comically, was affirmed on the Tuesday before his Masters win, his second major victory overall. When asked what his favorite Masters tradition is, Johnson answered: “Favorite tradition. For me, I don’t know if it’s really tradition, but my favorite thing about the Masters is the sandwiches,” he said matter of factly.  

Johnson, apparently, is focused on what’s between the bread. But, Rory McIlroy said, he’s plenty focused between the ears, too.

“He’s smarter than you think,” he said. “He’s switched on, more so than he lets on, more so than everyone in the media thinks. I’ll just put it that way.”  

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Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor