Was it just me or did Dustin Johnson look a little out of sorts yesterday in the final round of the U.S. Open? Something just wasn't right. Many in the media have blamed a balky putter, the tricky USGA course set-up or perhaps an untimely quarrel/misunderstanding with a tour wife. But based on my experience of years being inside the ropes, I saw something different. DJ was clearly uncomfortable playing with his good friend Brooks Koepka. There was a hesitation, a troublesome passiveness. Despite DJ's undisputed #1 world ranking and alpha male status, he looked more like the Robin to Koepka's Batman.
This is precisely why I made it a point to never make any friends while on tour. None. I instinctively knew that one day I would meet them on the field of battle when making a cut was on the line and I wasn't about to let my personal feelings get in the way. I had to have that edge....that killer instinct. It fueled me. Simply stated, I was on tour to make cuts, not friends.
It's the same reason I refuse to develop personal relationships with any of my members to this day. It's dangerous and it diminishes my competitive edge. It doesn't matter if I'm playing in something as big as the Friday men's league or as small as the Monday night glow-ball mixer, I keep it strictly business. I don't want to know your children's names or hear about your husband's job search or that your sister's cancer is in remission. Save it. Those types of conversations allow feelings to get in the way of the job at hand. I want you to be a nameless, faceless nobody. This is also the reason I physically refuse to talk to anyone during the end of the year 'Beat the Pro' net event. Some call it being aloof, I call it playing to win.
If Dustin Johnson wants to win at a high level and avoid the "one-hit wonder" or "flash in the pan" label he is currently carrying around his neck like an anchor, he needs to A) fix the bow in his left wrist and B) learn how to not let personal friendships get in the way of his competitive desire.