What will allow Dustin Johnson to come back from the heartbreaking three-putt at the 18th green to lose the US Open? Only one thing – perspective. Seeing the immediate aftermath makes me think he could recover. He embraced his family, had a smile on his face, and seemed upbeat. Could have been pure shock, only his results going forward will tell us the real story.
He can learn from others, that is one good thing about sports. They can be tragic but in most cases they have been tragic for others before you. Mickelson has won several majors since the “I’m such an idiot” collapse at Winged Foot. In his own generation, Speith and McIlroy both had collapses when leading a major. Heck even DJ himself has overcome notonly a heartbreak at a previous major (2010 PGA) but personal issues that overshadow any professional distress.
So DJ’s mindset should be the opposite of fear. He should be ready to destroy St. Andrews, a course he sets up well for. He should be spending his practice time on the same downhill 12 footer he missed and should be hoping to see that putt again. Get back in the arena, as Teddy Roosevelt would say, critics be damned.
I for one am rooting for him to show us he can recover and thrive. But of course, if he and Mickelson are in the last group, I’m rooting for Phil to win!