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Legendary golf coach Butch Harmon has been the key figure behind some of the sport’s most talented players over the last three decades.
Many know his name from the time he worked with Tiger Woods, from 1993 to 2004, but the 77-year-old instructor has had the opportunity to watch many of the game’s best up close. While the sport may never have another player like Woods, Harmon says that a current PGA Tour competitor comes close: Dustin Johnson.
The longtime golf instructor said Rory McIlroy could be a potential challenger to Johnson, but gave his nod to the 2020 Masters champ for his dominance when healthy, The Spun reports.
“If he’s on his game, nobody can beat him,” Harmon said of Johnson, via Golf.com. “If they’re all on, and Dustin Johnson is 100 percent, they can’t beat him. And that’s not a put down to Rory, because he’s a phenomenal player…but Dustin Johnson, when he’s on, is the closest thing I’ve seen to Tiger Woods.”
Johnson, 36, showed off his undeniable talent last fall when he won the 2020 Masters, marking his second major title compared to McIlroy’s four. Harmon praised Johnson’s willingness to take risks in order to play the best shot.
“I tell people, because he takes his balls with him in a wheelbarrow to the first tee, he’s not afraid of anything,” Harmon said, per The Spun. “He’s not afraid of any shot. He’s not afraid to try the right shot, even if it’s a difficult shot.”
Johnson and McIlroy will be at Torrey Pines for the 2021 U.S. Open this weekend, and perhaps one of the golfer’s performances will change their standing in the eyes of the legendary Butch Harmon.