Dustin Johnson didn’t play in a PGA Tour event this weekend, but that doesn’t mean he had time off.
The Irmo native and top-ranked golfer in the world has been busy.
Johnson visited Murrells Inlet to take part in a ground breaking ceremony for the Dustin Johnson Golf Performance Center that will be the home of the Dustin Johnson Golf School, and to welcome participants in his Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship.
The Coastal Carolina promoted the state-of-the-art golf performance and training center, as well as the world-class junior golfers who were in the Myrtle Beach area to play in the tournament.
It was also the one-year anniversary of becoming the No. 1 player in the World Golf Rankings. It’s a title Johnson hasn’t relinquished.
Johnson also continued to prepare himself for one of the most important stretches of the golf season. It includes tournament’s he has won in the past and culminates with the Masters Tournament, which holds a special place for Johnson because of Augusta National Golf Club’s close proximity to his South Carolina roots.
One of the tournaments leading up to the Masters is the Mexico Championship. Johnson won the World Golf Championships event in 2017, and as defending champion was called on to do a little promotion for the tournament.
A female WGC personality caught up with Johnson while he was getting in a little work last week. He was asked to film a spot for the event, and in spite of a good effort from Johnson, it wasn’t as smooth as his winning performance on the golf course last year.
At the end of what appeared to be a brief interview, the personality asked Johnson to say a specific hook for a promo. There was one catch.
“Can you say it in Spanish?” she asked.
Johnson laughed like it was a joke. But as the personality told him what she wanted him to say in Spanish, he was puzzled.
“What?” Johnson asked with a laugh.
The personality slowed down her diction and translated what the message meant in English.
“Estoy listo para volver. That means ‘I’m ready to go back.’ ”
She even said one word at a time for Johnson, who repeated them back.
Looking for the words together in a complete sentence she could use for a sound bite, the personality encouraged Johnson.
“That’s right,” she said, drawing a laugh of disbelief from Johnson, who clearly didn’t expect to be tested on his Spanish. “I’ll help you.”
As the personality, quietly, said the sentence, Johnson repeated it with her, finally delivering.
“That’s good,” she exclaimed, as both she and Johnson looked to get out while the getting was good.
Showing his sense of humor, Johnson tweeted about getting lost in translation.
“Nailed it,” he wrote on a Twitter post, with footage of the promo.
The Mexico Championship Twitter feed also shared the post, congratulating Johnson on getting the sound bite done.
“A for effort!” was the message the WGC included.
In his tweet, Johnson also included a declaration. It is one that no golfer playing in the Mexico Championship should see as a laughing matter.
“Coming for ya next week,” Johnson wrote of the event that will be held in Mexico City from March 1-4.
Johnson won the 2017 Mexico Championship by a stroke over Tommy Fleetwood, earning a first-place payday of $1,660,000.
Johnson finished the World Golf Championships event at 14-under, for one of his four tournament victories last year. It was his first tournament as the No. 1 player in the World Golf Rankings.
With the win in Mexico, Johnson joined Tiger Woods as the only player to win four or more World Golf Championship events. In the next event he played, Johnson won the Dell Technologies Match Play, becoming the first player to sweep the four World Golf Championships.
In addition to the WGC victories in 2017, Johnson also won the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club and the Northern Trust Open, a FedEx Cup Playoff event.
Johnson’s ascent in the rankings has been steady, highlighted by winning the 2016 U.S. Open, the first major tournament victory of his career. In a decade-long PGA Tour career, Johnson has won at least one tournament every year since his rookie season.
He’s already got a victory under his belt in 2018. Johnson won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii in January.
Besides the U.S. Open, in 2016 Johnson won the WGC-Bridgestone (a World Golf Championship event) and the BMW Championship, part of the Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs. In total, he cashed checks for more than $9 million, best in professional golf, while leading the Tour in scoring average and top-10 finishes.