Dustin Johnson is not clutch.
In 2010, he entered the final round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach with a three-stoke lead but shot an 82 to finish in a tie for eighth. That same year, he needed to par the 18th hole at Whistling Straits to win the PGA Championship but he grounded his club in a bunker — incurring a two-stroke penalty — and finished in a tie for fifth.
On Sunday, Johnson stepped up to the par-5 18th hole — one of the three key holes on the course — needing an eagle to win the U.S. Open or a birdie to force an 18-hole playoff on Monday with Jordan Spieth. His drive was perfect, getting him on the green with a little more than 12 feet to the pin.
His playing partner, Jason Day, just made a shot from a similar distance, so all eyes were on Johnson to make eagle. However, putting has not been Johnson’s strong suit this year. He has cost himself almost two strokes (1.975) over 30 measured rounds of golf, or minus-.066 per round on average, which ranks him 121st on the PGA Tour. Still, golfers make a putt from 10 to 15 feet 30.1 percent of the time, with Johnson slightly above average at 31.4 percent.
Johnson missed the eagle chance, and would need to putt from four feet to force a playoff. No worries though, right? Johnson has an 85.6 percent accuracy rate on putts from three to five feet.
Nope. Missed that too.
The chances of Johnson missing both those putts are 8.8 percent, or 11-to-1 odds.
“I might have pulled [the birdie putt] a little bit. But still to me it looked like it bounced left. It’s tough. It’s very difficult,” Johnson said. “I did everything that I could. I tried my damnedest to get in the hole. I just couldn’t do it.”
Johnson is now winless in four attempts when playing in the final pairing in a major championship:
- 2010 U.S. Open (T8)
- 2010 PGA Championship (T5)
- 2011 British Open (T2)
- 2015 U.S. Open (T2)