Rory McIlroy Reminisces the First Time He Played Against Dustin Johnson

Published 04/02/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 25: Dustin Johnson of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland play a shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the WGC – HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on October 25, 2018 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images)


Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are two of the top golfers who are associated with equipment company TaylorMade. So when these two talented golfers got together for a promotional shoot, a lot of interesting anecdotes came to light, much to the delight of Johnson and McIlroy’s fans. 

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TaylorMade assembled both Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy to test a new driver while chatting about what makes their tee-shots successful on the course. During the course of the conversation, McIlroy reminisced his first-ever duel with Johnson. 

“D.J. and I go way back. So we first played against each other in the Walker Cup in [2007]. So we’ve been playing against each other for 13 years and like D.J. has changed his game from then,” McIlroy mentioned. 

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“I remember when we played Walker Cup you predominantly hit a draw that was sort of your natural shape and then once he got out on tour, he’s always had unbelievable length and athleticism and makes the game look so easy,” he added. 

Rory McIlroy loves the confidence Dustin Johnson carries with him

Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson are two of the best golfers in the world. McIlroy is ranked #11 in the Official World Golf Rankings, while Johnson is #1. These two pros have been at the top of their games for years, and the mutual admiration is what keeps their relationship intact. 

The pair played together at the Augusta National ahead of the 2021 Masters, and McIlroy was fascinated by how Dustin Johnson can vary his tee-shots to suit a golf course. 

“We played two practice rounds at Augusta last week and then played the the first two days together and you know everyone says Augusta is a predominantly right-to-left course,” McIlroy began. 

Mar 24, 2021; Austin, Texas, USA; Dustin Johnson lines up a putt on the sixth green during the first day of the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play golf tournament at Austin Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

“I think he’s practiced so much and he’s hit that left or right shot so much that it’s so comfortable for him even on a dogleg left. To have that confidence standing up over any tee shot knowing that ‘Okay I’m just gonna aim it over here and I know it’s going to fall right’ and that’s testament to him how many balls he hits and how hard he works,” he expressed. 

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It is just incredible to see the amount of praise Rory McIlroy showered upon Dustin Johnson. These two are rivals on the tour and are equally competitive, but they never fall short of respecting each other’s game. 

The 2021 Masters is right around the corner, so who are you backing between these two? Johnson or McIlroy? 

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Read Also: ‘Kind of Feel Bad’: Jordan Spieth Sympathizes With Dustin Johnson Ahead of the 2021 Masters

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Arjun Athreya

1725 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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