Dustin Johnson Ends Disappointing Players Championship with 1-Under Final Round

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2021

Dustin Johnson watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the second round of the The Players Championship golf tournament Friday, March 12, 2021, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

The 2021 Players Championship ended as it began for Dustin Johnson: with a disappointing whimper.

Johnson carded a one-under 71 in Sunday's final round, going into the clubhouse at one under for the tournament and tied for 53rd place. It is the world No. 1's lowest finish in any of golf's big five events (the four majors and The Players Championship) since he missed the cut in the 2018 Open Championship.

Johnson's wild round included six birdies and five bogeys. The back nine saw DJ par only one hole—the par-five 11th—while birdieing or bogeying the other eight.

TPC Sawgrass just never seemed to agree with Johnson this week, as he didn't have any one area where he completely fell apart but also failed to excel in any aspect. His four rounds—73, 70, 73, 71—tell the story of a middling, unspectacular performance that can happen even to the all-time greats.


From the bushes and over a tree. 😲 @DJohnsonPGA couldn't help but smile after this par-save.

Johnson also had some pretty bad luck. His bounce into the water off the flag stick at No. 17 during Saturday's third round is one of the unluckiest shots in recent memory.

That said, even an ace rather than a five on that hole would not have been enough to put him into contention with the leaders.

Sawgrass has had Johnson's number throughout his career. His fifth-place finish in 2019 was the only time he's been inside the top 10 at golf's fifth "major," and he's finished outside the top 20 eight times.

The disappointing performance will do little to knock Johnson off his perch as the world's top-ranked golfer, as he's built up a significant lead over Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas.

Nevertheless, he'll need to get his game back in top form soon if he wants to repeat as Masters champion.