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December 17 2013

9:15 AM

No. 14 player to watch: Dustin Johnson

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With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Check out this preview of No. 14 Dustin Johnson and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 players to watch in 2014.


NO. 14 PLAYER TO WATCH: DUSTIN JOHNSON

2014 OUTLOOK: Dustin Johnson will be looking to find consistency and momentum in 2014. After last year's season-opening win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Johnson didn't pick up another top-10 finish until the last week in March when he tied for fourth at the Shell Houston Open. Nearly three months passed before he contended again as Johnson battled wrist and back injuries that caused him to opt out of three straight events. He's racked up top-10s in majors, including a tie for eighth at the PGA last year, but watched while other twentysomethings like Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson made their mark. Although Johnson has the length to overpower a golf course -- and frequently does -- his putter can be problematic, which could keep the lanky South Carolinian from taking the next step. -- Helen Ross

THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Johnson won the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, which was his only start in the fall portion of the 2013-14 wrap-around season. It's the second straight year that Johnson has won his first start.

EXPERT VIEWS
FANTASY OUTLOOK
Despite wins in his first seven seasons, he still seems to leave gamers wanting more. I admit I'm among this lot, but we need to accept the reality that produces a steady diet of half a dozen top 10s and a trip to East Lake every year. -- Rob Bolton
ON THE MARK
Probably the TOUR’s best athlete, Dustin has done a superb job of understanding his swing tendencies and this has helped him minimize the left shot that used to plague him when he was under pressure. He is now able to consistently take advantage of his incredible length off the tee which effectively turns most courses into par 68s. However, what Dustin gains on the field in length he sometimes gives up on the greens. As is the case with many a long hitter, Johnson is not as consistent on the greens as he should be – indeed if he was I think he would be very hard to beat. -- Mark Immelman
COURSE PREFERENCE
It is so hard to get a read on Dustin. He seems to float through a round, pulls some questionable clubs and still wins tournaments.  Dustin continued to bang driver after driver at the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions when he could have played it safe and coasted to the finish line. He has won at Pebble Beach before and should contend there in the future. -- Fred Albers
INSIDE THE NUMBERS 
He hit a tournament-best 61 of 72 greens in his win at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions early in 2013-14, but consistency has been missing. Johnson has ranked between 27th and 80th in greens hit in the past five seasons. Scrambling is also holding him back from greatness, as he ranked 163rd, 32nd, 181st, 139th and 143rd the last five years. -- Bill Cooney

VIDEO VAULT

Super Slo-Mo Drive: Dustin Johnson

The drive of multiple PGA TOUR winner Dustin Johnson, captured at The Barclays 2012, is analyzed by four-time PGA TOUR winner and Emmy-winning broadcaster Billy Kratzert.
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