Golf has always been renowned for it’s prestigious and proudly pretentious etiquette so it’s to little surprise that the detrimental deviations of those within the sport are frequently ‘swept under the rug’. After Tiger Woods’ humiliating public disintegration in 2009, the golfing oracles could be forgiven for wanting to protect the sport’s nobility and prevent any further dystopian dalliances, however, up stepped Woods’ good friend, Dustin Johnson, to take over his mantle.
The precociously talented South Carolina native, who now sits a crest of golf’s global rankings, rapidly became a much-maligned entity within golf’s exclusive circles. Hilariously dubbed by Rick Reilly as ‘so dense light bends around him’, Johnson’s erratic behaviour and secretly shrouded transgressions resulted in him becoming a figure the PGA desperately sought to efface from record books. However, in doing so, they only explicitly exemplified their own unwillingness to thoroughly sanction those who bring the game’s honour into disrepute.
PGATOUR: Most PGA TOUR wins since 2008 …
Tiger Woods: 18
Dustin Johnson: 16
Rory McIlroy: 13
Jordan Spieth: 11 pic.twitter.com/mweQ7gh0W9 …
— Wayne Willmore™ (@Crazy_Willows) September 4, 2017
The PGA has no obligation to announce the results of any failed drug tests and thus Dustin Johnson’s frequently blemished record of misdemeanours is largely unbeknownst to the majority. He’s, in fact, failed three drugs tests in his time on tour, the first unsurprisingly for marijuana, being the effigy of an overaged frat boy. However, in 2012 and 2014 Johnson twice failed tests, rather more seriously, for cocaine. Whether his addiction was the intoxicating fuel behind his vigorous swing remains unknown, however, it did result in Johnson taking an enforced six-month leave of absence from the tour, disguised as a need to resolve personal matters.
However, it wasn’t the only factor in Johnson’s then unceremonious demise from prodigy to profligate. Robert Lusetich exposed the lanky lothario’s otherwise repugnant nature when he revealed that the player was known to have slept with at least two of his tour peers wives. One, now commonly known to be with the now ex-wife of tour member Will MacKenzie. A tremendous scandal that was sacredly kept under wraps by those within golf’s tight-lipped society.
Yet after those tumultuous years, Johnson has finally found grace in the arms of Paulina Gretzky, daughter of the legendary ice hockey player, and he’s undergone a tremendous reformation since. It was supposedly Wayne Gretzky, himself, who ordered Johnson to fix up. However, mysteriously falling down the stairs on the eve of this year’s Masters, did nothing to quell the theories that Johnson, now the world’s No.1, had re-embarked on his erroneous ways. To say the PGA tour’s previous trepidations over Johnson were just would be a gross understatement.
Johnson has now ascended to the top of the rankings, winning his maiden major title last year at the US Open and currently heads this year’s FedEx Cup standings. He’s no longer haunted by his previous conquests and has flourished into a renowned icon and celebrity of today’s golfing game. In fact, his much-vilified actions have done little to affect his career to any great extent at all. The fact that he’s undergone such little atonement, is actually largely attributable to the PGA’s unashamed secrecy over such matter’s in an effort to preserve golf’s near-sanctimonious reputation.
He’s sponsored by Adidas, Taylormade and Hublot to name a few and is one of golf’s highest earners. His previous actions, if ever acknowledged, have been thoroughly forgotten, but it’s hardly the vehicle for the virtuous reputation on which golf has been built.