Friday, June 17, 2011

Dustin Johnson at the 2011 US Open

Dustin Johnson at 2011 US Open-1

Continuing with my series of photos from the 2011 US Open, Dustin Johnson is today’s featured golfer.  Dustin is another exciting golfer who is emblematic of the new crop of young golfers making their impact on the PGA.

Dustin Johnson at 2011 US Open-4

We are now witnessing the process of the “changing of the guard” as this group of young players are routinely challenging, pushing, and often surpassing the elders of the game.  This group of young players is adding new excitement to the game with their crushing drives and aggressive style of play.  While this aggressiveness can be very entertaining, it can sometimes work against them as we saw at last year’s final round at the US Open when Dustin disintegrated after holding a three stroke lead going into the final round.  The nightmare began on the par 4 second hole, and within three holes he dropped his three stroke lead to three strokes behind the new leader.  And it got worse.  Johnson ended up with an 82, five strokes in back of winner Graeme McDowell.

Dustin Johnson at 2011 US Open-2

More recently, the youngster Rory McIlroy’s meltdown at 2010 Masters followed a similar path.  At the ninth hole, MIlroy held a one shot lead when the nightmare began with the 10th hole triple bogey.  He lost another shot on the 11th, and two more on the 12th.  After shooting 80 in the final round he ended up in 15th place.

Dustin Johnson at 2011 US Open

Although both Johnson and McIlroy have created a couple of memorable collapses, memories I’m sure they are trying to forget, I am confident they will be around for quite a long time and overcome these defeats with spectacular victories.  As a matter of fact, I am watching the second round of the US Open while writing this, and McIlroy is now five under par for the day through 14 holes and holds an eight stroke lead over another young gun – Zach Johnson.  The young guys make this game interesting.

Have fun, and go make some great photography.


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