Dustin Johnson favored to win each major in 2021
Since the fall, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson has been a major threat on the golf course, with a second-place finish in August’s PGA Championship, a sixth at September’s U.S. Open, and a record-setting win at November’s rescheduled Masters.
DJ’s dominance has made the 36-year-old a popular pick to triumph in just about any tournament on the PGA Tour calendar, and Johnson is the favorite to win each of golf’s four majors in 2021.
Dustin Johnson's odds to win each major in 2021
|Tournament||DJ's odds to win|
While it’s difficult to bet against a hot hand like Johnson — who also claimed last season’s FedEx Cup title — the chances of him achieving golf’s Grand Slam are low.
DJ has only won two majors — last year's Masters and the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club.
The parlay odds of Johnson collecting titles at both the PGA Championship and Open Championship — which would complete his career Grand Slam — are +10900. His parlay odds of tacking on victories at the Masters and U.S. Open all in the same calendar year are +907400.
History of golf’s Grand Slam
Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Gene Sarazen are the only men to accomplish modern golf’s career Grand Slam, and none won all four majors in the same calendar year.
The only golfer who can claim the true Grand Slam is Bobby Jones, who earned major championships at the U.S. Amateur, the Amateur (British), U.S. Open, and the Open Championship in 1930, before the Masters was founded.
Of the five modern-day career Grand Slam champions, only two have won three majors in the same year.
In 1953, Hogan won the Masters, U.S. Open, and the Open Championship. The PGA Championship was a match-play event during that time and conflicted with the dates of the Open Championship that year.
Most recently, Woods finished first at the U.S. Open, the Open Championship, and the PGA Championship in 2000. The following April, he won at Augusta, which is the only time a modern player has won four consecutive majors.
Johnson eyes second straight Masters win
In order for Johnson to chase a Grand Slam, he must first win April’s Masters.
The South Carolina native is the +650 frontrunner to top the leaderboard and has posted four top 10 finishes in his last four appearances.
Before his win in November, Johnson came in second, one stroke behind five-time Masters champion Woods, in 2019.
Woods is one of just three players to win back-to-back Masters in the 86-year history of the tournament. Before Woods won consecutive titles in 2001 and 2002, Nick Faldo won in 1989 and 1990, and Nicklaus won two of his record six green jackets in 1965 and 1966.
PGA Championship will provide tough test for DJ
Following the 2021 Masters is May's PGA Championship, held this year at Kiawah Island, near Johnson's hometown of Columbia, South Carolina.
In 11 appearances at the PGA Championship, Johnson has posted six top 10s and back-to-back second-place finishes, but one of his worst performances occurred at the island resort.
In 2012, Kiawah Island hosted golf's second major for the first time. That year, Rory McIlroy triumphed to collect his first of two PGA Championship titles, while Johnson tied for 48th at 5-over.
High winds impacted play during the second round, which is par for Kiawah's Ocean course.
Considering Johnson's history here, world No. 6 McIlroy (the co-favorite with Johnson at +1000) may make for a better bet.
Johnson no stranger, but no friend to Torrey Pines
The third major of the calendar year, the U.S. Open, will head back to Torrey Pines in June.
The home course of the Farmers Insurance Open will host the major for the first time since Woods' win in 2008. Like the 2012 PGA Championship, Johnson tied for 48th at the 2008 U.S. Open and finished at 10-over.
Dustin Johnson's highest scores in 39 U.S. Open rounds:— Mike O'Malley (@GD_MikeO) June 16, 2018
82: Pebble Beach, 2010
77: Shinnecock Hills, 2018
77: Merion, 2013
76: Bethpage, 2009
75: Erin Hills, 2017
75: Merion, 2013
75: Olympic, 2012
75: Congressional, 2011
75: Torrey Pines, 2008
In January, Johnson skipped the Farmers Insurance Open, which Patrick Reed won by five strokes.
The last time DJ appeared at the San Diego tournament, in 2017, he missed the cut. He also missed the weekend in 2010 and 2015, while he landed 43rd in 2012 and 51st in 2013.
Johnson's best finish at Torrey Pines (third) came in 2011. His only other top 20 finish was in 2016.
Johnson may find familiarity at Open Championship course
Johnson has recently struggled at the Open Championship, where he has finished no better than 51st in his last three appearances.
That may change in July, though, as the oldest golf tournament in the world is set to return to Royal St. George's Golf Club, where Johnson tied for second at the Open in 2011.
That year, Darren Clarke beat Johnson and Phil Mickelson by three strokes to hoist the Claret Jug.
Johnson challenged for the lead in the final round, but an errant shot on the par 5 14th hole led to a double-bogey, which squashed Johnson's hopes of a win.
Which majors Johnson will win in 2021
Johnson is on a hot streak. In addition to his victory at the Masters, he won the Saudi International on the European Tour last week and came in second at the Houston Open in November.
His 11th-place finish at January's Tournament of Champions is his worst of the season.
If Johnson can maintain his excellent form, at least one major should be in his future — most likely at Augusta or Royal St. George's.
Even two majors isn't unthinkable.
But four in one calendar year is too much to fathom — even for the world's No. 1 golfer.