Dustin Johnson knows that the fan support for Tiger Woods is different from anything else.
Johnson was among a group of players contending for the lead at the Masters on Sunday. After he completed his round, shooting a four-under 68 to finish 12 under, he talked about the experience. While Johnson said he had fun, he noted how much different the support for Tiger was than anyone else.
“It was a lot of fun today. You could hear the roars, and you can definitely tell the difference between a roar for me or a roar for Tiger (Woods). But I had a lot of fun out there today,” Johnson said in an interview with CBS’ Amanda Baliones.
Xander Schauffele also talked after he completed his round about the energy from the crowd.
“The crowds are incredible. I just sort of fed off the crowds. I was hearing roars from behind, which sort of pushed me forward,” Schauffele said.
The fans had been waiting a long time — since 2008 — to see Tiger win another major. You can understand why they were so fired up. He inspired a total mob scene with his Tour Championship win in Atlanta in September, so the fan support was not a surprise.
Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson have done their best to downplay reports about them nearly getting into a physical altercation at the Ryder Cup, and we would rather take their word for it than be treated to another horrifically uncomfortable video like they one they put out on Tuesday.
After Koepka was voted the 2018 PGA Tour Player of the Year by his peers, the Tour shared a video on social media that featured Johnson congratulating Koepka. It began with Koepka telling Johnson, “Hey man, I don’t ever want anything to come between us.”
@BKoepka accepted his Player of the Year Award today.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 9, 2018
For those of you who don’t know the story, a report claimed Johnson and Koepka — who are considered close friends — got into an argument at a Team Europe afterparty after losing the Ryder Cup and nearly came to blows. Koepka has since denied that any such incident took place, but even Team USA captain Jim Furyk acknowledged that there was some sort of issue.
That video was likely a way for Johnson and Koepka to downplay all the drama, but boy was it awkward.
The reports of drama between members of the Team USA Ryder Cup team have continued to roll in over the past several days, and the most noteworthy was that Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka nearly got into a physical altercation on Sunday night. According to Koepka, that report was 100 percent fabricated.
While speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Koepka said he and Johnson did not have an argument before, during or after the Ryder Cup — let alone a near fist-fight at a Team Europe afterparty.
Speaking with reporters at the Dunhill Links, Koepka denies a fight with DJ: "This Dustin thing, I just don't get. There was no fight, no argument. He's one of my best friends. I love the kid to death. We talked on the phone Monday and yesterday, so you tell me how we fought."
— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) October 3, 2018
Koepka added that people like making up stories and running with them and said this is “not the first time there’s been a news story that isn’t true that’s gone out.”
Word of the alleged confrontation first popped up in The Telegraph and was later confirmed by the Golf Channel, so multiple outlets are claiming there was some sort of altercation. Johnson and Koepka are considered close friends who work out together in Florida, which made it surprising that they were not paired together in foursomes on Friday afternoon.
From the way it sounds, the drama between Johnson and Koepka was only part of what went wrong during a “devastating” week for Team USA.
Emotions have been running high since Team USA was defeated in convincing fashion by Team Europe at the Ryder Cup over the weekend, but it sounds like Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka may have been more worked up than anyone.
James Corrigan of The Telegraph reported on Tuesday that Johnson and Koepka nearly came to blows and had to be separated while they were visiting the European team room after the Ryder Cup ended on Sunday. While the exact reason for the altercation is unknown, Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte confirmed on Tuesday that it did, in fact, take place.
Johnson and Koepka, two former U.S. Open champions, played together in the Saturday afternoon foursomes, losing to Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. The two are considered close friends and often work out together in Florida, which is part of what made the altercation so surprising. Johnson’s fiancee Paulina Gretzky was nearby when the incident took place, and a source told The Telegraph that the wife of a European golfer who witnessed it was “clearly shocked and upset by the nastiness, which was very threatening.”
Team USA has not exactly handled its loss in France with class, as Patrick Reed also ripped into Jordan Spieth for not wanting to pair with him and criticized Team USA captain Jim Furyk for benching him in the afternoon on the first day. Reed has an excellent record at the Ryder Cup and felt like he was put in a position to fail this year.
Between the Ryder Cup altercation and some of the rumors that have been swirling about his relationship with Gretzky, Johnson seems to be making headlines for a lot more than just his golf swing lately.
Paulina Gretzky and Dustin Johnson appear to have put their relationship issues aside for the week.
The two are in Paris for the Ryder Cup and were spotted ahead of the Ryder Cup Gala at the Palace of Versailles. Johnson was playing the role of photographer for his fiancee.
Gotta do what you gotta do pic.twitter.com/nxzcOHnyMZ
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) September 26, 2018
Johnson is part of the US team that will look to repeat as Ryder Cup champs after their triumph in Minnesota in 2016. He and Gretzky have been engaged for over five years but are going through some relationship issues.
A report said Johnson was cheating on Gretzky with a woman from their exclusive golf club in Southern California, but the woman denied that charge. The rumors popped up shortly after Gretzky scrubbed Johnson from her Instagram page.
The couple, who have two children together, are said to still be together and are getting along for at least this week.
Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky are still together as a couple despite a rumor of infidelity, according to a report.
TMZ Sports reported on Tuesday that Johnson and Gretzky have not broken up. The woman at the center of the alleged rift has also taken to Instagram to defend herself and state that she has never had an affair with Johnson.
On Monday, we published a story about Gretzky scrubbing Johnson from her Instagram page. Not long thereafter, British media outlet “The Sun” reported that a woman named Yassie Safai is at the center of problems between the professional golfer and his longtime fiancee.
The Sun says Safai “caused the sensational split” between Johnson and Gretzky.
They further reported that “Johnson and California socialite Yassie Safai are said to have struck up a relationship that has infuriated Gretzky.”
Johnson and Safai are said to have met at Sherwood Country Club, an exclusive club west of Los Angeles. The Sun even quoted a source who said that Safai causing a split between Johnson and Gretzky was the “talk of the club.”
Safai issued a statement on Instagram Tuesday to deny having any improper relationship with Johnson.
“I am not in a relationship with Dustin Johnson. Nor have we had any prior relationship,” Safai wrote. “I met Dustin Johnson at Sherwood Country Club. I have run into him at Sherwood maybe 4 times since then and yes briefly spoke with him, like I’m sure any avid golfer and member would.
“I am sure he is a great person but we do not have a close friendship. I have never met Paulina Gretzky and do not know the Gretzky family, but again, I am sure they are great people.
“I have no insight into the rumors around Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky’s relationship. I wish them nothing but the best. I just want to go back to living my normal life.”
Johnson and Gretzky have been engaged since Aug. 2013. They have two children.
PGA golfer Dustin Johnson has been engaged to Paulina Gretzky for years, but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at Gretzky’s Instagram page.
Those who follow both Johnson and Gretzky on Instagram have grown accustomed to photos of the two embracing on a yacht or posing with their children, 3-year-old Tatum and 1-year-old River. However, Barstool Sports noticed over the weekend that every photo of Johnson has been scrubbed from Gretzky’s Instagram page.
Strangely enough, even posts like one where Dustin and Paulina announced they are expecting their second child have been deleted. Photos of Gretzky remain on Johnson’s Instagram page, however.
There could be a logical explanation for why Paulina has deleted Dustin from her Instagram life, but we have seen instances in the past — like with this NFL player and his girlfriend — where such activity is the first sign of relationship trouble. Here’s hoping that isn’t the case for one of golf’s power couples.