Dustin Johnson is one of the four heaviest favorites for the British Open. That is not just because he has won two straight tournaments but also because of how he's been hitting his wedges so far in the 2015-16 PGA Tour season. We all know Johnson is an amazing driver of the golf ball, and he is actually a better putter than people think, but it's his wedge play that has improved an unbelievable amount and led to just the second multi-win season of his career.
"My wedges have improved a lot," said Johnson. "I'm getting a lot more opportunities when I'm in the fairway and ... hitting my wedges closer than I have been. Yeah, I mean, I just feel like the work I've put in with the putter is finally paying off."
Johnson has certainly been hitting his wedges closer than in the past. He currently ranks No. 1 on the PGA Tour in proximity to the hole from 50-125 yards. Think about that for a second. Arguably the best driver of the golf ball on the planet is also currently the best wedge player from 50-125 yards. You could putt with a broomstick and still have success.
Here's a look at Johnson's last five years of proximity to the hole from 50-125 yards and where he ranked on the PGA Tour in that statistic.
- 2016: 15 feet (No. 1)
- 2015: 17 feet, 8 inches (N0. 53)
- 2014: 18 feet, 6 inches (No. 80)
- 2013: 18 feet, 11 inches (No. 113)
- 2012: 20 feet, 5 inches (No. 166)
How about that. That is a remarkable improvement over the last five years. A dramatic, incredible improvement over where he was in 2012. He was great even when he didn't hit his wedges well (he won in each of those years listed), but with the solid wedge play, he has looked borderline unbeatable at times.
This is something to keep in mind when Johnson heads to Royal Troon next week looking for his third straight win. He will almost definitely drive the ball well at that tournament, but if he can continue to control wedge play from this distance, he can drink from the Claret Jug in just over a week.