Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are two of the bright young stars in the game. Who has a better chance of winning a major this season? Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell weigh in with their opinions.
By REX HOGGARDWhen the history is written for Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy it’s a safe bet that both budding stars will enjoy a six-pack of major keepsakes on the mantel but it will be the lanky American who gets on the Grand Slam board first in 2011.
Half-empty types will point to DJ’s major heartbreaks in 2010 – first at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach where he ballooned to a closing 82 and then at the PGA Championship where he was crossed up by a rules snafu – and dismiss his chances. But it will be those failures that will only serve to season Johnson, as evidenced by his late-season victory at the BMW Championship.
Johnson is also uniquely suited for this season’s major ballparks.
Despite the best efforts of the U.S. Golf Association, the long ball still rules and DJ is a bombing expert. He ranked third on Tour in driving distance in 2010, had the fourth-longest drive (414 yards at Kapalua) and was third in club head speed (121 mph). Handy stuff at an Augusta National (7,445 yards) or Atlanta Athletic Club, site of this year’s PGA Championship and home to a 260-yard par 3.
But most of all, Johnson will win a major in ’11 because he’s learned how to do it, the hard way.
By RANDALL MELL
My money’s on Dustin Johnson. I’m all-in on this giant talent.