DJ hoping to turn the table: Can Dustin Johnson land a third Major Championship victory in 2022?

The 2020 Masters champion struggled in 2021 so will be hoping to bounce back in the New Year.

He may have won two Major Championships, but Dustin Johnson knows all about the agony that golf's most important tournaments can provide.

In fact, the 37-year-old American is the closest modern golfing equivalent to Captain Calamity Greg Norman in terms of having found weird and not-exactly-wonderful ways of not winning Majors.

He's led them by big margins, before failing to convert.

He's opened final rounds in the lead, then quickly seen the advantage disappear.

He's ground out a late lead, and then contrived to let it slip through his fingers.

He's been defeated by performances of outrageous skill and temperament.

He's landed catastrophic penalties on the 72nd hole when leading.

He's even spurned one opportunity to play in a Major when in the best form of his life by tumbling down the stairs.

Pain, perplexity and pratfalls - the story of his Major history.

In 2021 he also missed the cut in the first two of them before returning to form with a pair of top 20s.

In 2022 DJ will be desperate to reverse the long and medium term trends, and turn the table on his Major woes.

Let's take a look at his chances.

The Masters

In missing the cut on defence of his title in 2021 Johnson was not alone. Defending champions have considerable media duties, they host the Champion's Dinner, expectation is high - it is (pardon the pun) a menu for making the week long and difficult.

The better news for him is that his win in 2020 was the culmination of a long-term improvement in his form at Augusta National. In his first five starts there he finished top 30 just the once (when T13th). But the next five appearances? All of them top 10, culminating in the victory.

One concern might be that the win did come when the event was held in November. The course was softer. It helped that he hits the ball a long way, but it really helped that the greens were softer and more responsive to approaches.

Nonetheless, with the distractions of his defence not an issue, another fine performance looks likely in the season's first Major.

The PGA Championship

The bad news: as with last year's Masters, Johnson also missed the cut at the PGA Championship last year. At the time he was in the middle of a form funk that saw him lose top spot in the world rankings.

The better news is that prior to the 2021 tournament Johnson has twice finished second in the PGA Championship. He was tied with Paul Casey behind Collin Morikawa at TPC Harding Park in 2020 and solo second behind Brooks Koepka in 2019 at Bethpage Black.

In all, he has six top 10 finishes in the event from 12 starts. Those two near-misses came on courses which, unlike last year's host Kiawah Island, are a lot more like the 2022 venue Southern Hills. Johnson should be a threat.

The US Open

There's no denying that Johnson has a mixed relationship with his national championship. In 2010, at Pebble Beach, he led the field by three shots with 18 holes to play. "This is what I live for," he said, prior to carving a final round of 82 to end the week tied eighth.

Five years later, at Chambers Bay, he burst from the blocks with a 65 and shared the lead after 54 holes. "I know what it takes to get it done," he insisted.

Having birdied the 17th he needed another to force a play-off whereupon he smashed his second shot on the par-5 601-yard 18th to 12 feet. Hole it and he'd win the event, a two-putt would force extra holes. What did he do? He three-stabbed.

He won the event in 2016, when a final round 69 at Oakmont left him three shots clear of the field.

But two years later he had more woes. He led by four heading into the weekend but on Moving Day he travelled in the wrong direction. A 77 left him in a tie for the lead and Brooks Koepka was too good for him in the final round.

In all, he has six top 10s from 14 starts, four of them top five, including that win in 2016. There's no reason to think that the 2022 host, The Country Club in Brookline, won't suit.

The Open

Ahead of the 2021 Open Johnson, returning to the scene of his best effort in the championship, insisted that he has always loved links golf. He played it on a college trip, he said, and immediately fell in love with it.

His tied second finish at Royal St George's in 2011 remains his best effort, but he has added another three top 10s. He'll also be intrigued that the 2022 tournament heads to the Home of Golf - The Old Course in St Andrews.

In 2015 Johnson was widely touted as the most likely winner and when he led after 36 holes that remained the case. His surname was etched on the Claret Jug at the end of extra holes, but it was preceded by the chosen name Zach rather than Dustin. DJ had folded at the weekend, ending T49th on the leaderboard.

Will he exact revenge in the 150th Open? Or will the bad memories linger?

READ MORE: The PGA Championship has been energised by its move in the calendar, who can contend in 2022?

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