Two years ago, Dustin Johnson was a mystery on the PGA Tour, abruptly ending his season and Ryder Cup contention without an official reason, leading to speculation of marital infidelity, substance abuse problems, and more.
Fast-forward two years and Johnson has been awarded the Jack Nicklaus Award as PGA Player of the Year, the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the tour’s money list, and the Byron Nelson Award for having the lowest adjusted scoring average.
It’s the kind of award domination that Johnson’s father-in-law Wayne Gretzky, who won nine MVP trophies and 10 scoring trophies in his career, could be proud of.
He won the US Open, the WGC-Firestone, the BMW Championship, and finished second in the final FedEx Cup standings. In the process he jumped from No. 8 in the world to No. 2, trailing only Adam Scott.
“Knowing the work I’m putting in is working drives me to work harder, it makes me more driven to be better,” Johnson said. “That’s what gives me confidence.”
Johnson is the second straight first time winner of the Jack Nicklaus Award, following Jordan Spieth in 2015. Tiger Woods won the award in 1997, 1999-2003, 2005-2007, 2009, and 2013.
Argentina Emiliano Grillo won the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award. He received the trophy at the Safeway Open, which he won a year ago.