For the first time in 3 years, the Ryder Cup was underway from Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. The United States was looking to recapture the cup for the first time since 2016 at Hazeltine. Dustin Johnson came into the week as the second ranked player in the world. He was ready to make some noise.
Players awoke to a chilly September morning, but the energy around Whistling Straits was palpable. Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa were the second group off for the U.S. Up against Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland, a good start for the two Americans was pivotal. Thanks to a stellar wedge on 1 by DJ and a great putt by Collin, the U.S. was one up after one. After two great shots on 16, DJ lagged a long eagle putt up for an easy birdie and win for the U.S. The United States held a 3-1 lead after the morning matches.
Dustin was paired with Xander Schauffele in afternoon four-ball matches against Bernd Wiesberger and Paul Casey. Great play by Dustin and Xander had them 2-up early. Back and forth they went against the Europeans until the Americans won the 10th & 11th holes to go back to a 2-up lead. The U.S. duo closed out the match on 17 to take a 6-2 lead. Dustin was now 2-0 and looking like a force to be reckoned with.
Saturday morning foursomes saw Dustin and Collin paired up again. The match did not half a hole through the first 8 holes. Dustin and Collin were 4-up as they made the turn. The match ended up going to 17th hole, but Dustin and Collin came away victorious. Again. In the afternoon, Dustin and Collin were together up against Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy. A birdie on the second by Dustin, and a birdie on the 5th by Poulter kept the match at all square. A huge eagle by Morikawa sent the U.S. on win streak. They were 3-up at the turn. The dynamic duo went on to win this match. Dustin was 4-0 and the U.S. was up big headed into Sunday.
Sunday singles saw Dustin Johnson draw a familiar opponent in Paul Casey. Dustin drew first blood, but Casey countered on the next hole. Dustin put one tight on the 8th hole to regain that lead. They traded blows the entire back nine and for the first time this week, Dustin took it all the way to 18. Dustin halved the last two holes to defeat Paul Casey 1-up.
The United States would go on to win the Ryder Cup 19-9. Dustin went 5-0 and was awarded the inaugural “Nicklaus-Jacklin” award for the USA. Dustin will look to keep up this great form heading into the 2021-2022 season.