Dustin Johnson, a former All-American at Coastal Carolina, was a member of the victorious 2007 USA Walker Cup Team at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland. Johnson went 2-0-2 in the competition before turning professional, where he has since produced seven PGA Tour victories.
What was your experience playing in the Walker Cup? How much did you enjoy it?
I really enjoyed playing in the Walker Cup. It ranks, probably, up there with anything else I’ve done in golf. You really end up feeling like that’s one of the more special weeks you’ll ever have as a golfer.
What stands out the most from that week?
We had an awesome team. Everyone but maybe one guy (Trip Kuehne) is out here on tour. All the guys on the team became great friends of mine, and I think that’s always a positive part of it all. We played for Buddy Marruci, and he was just great to play for. It was a great week and a great experience. You know, we got over their early and played some links courses, went to Dublin, just sort of had a great overall experience seeing the country and getting some golf in on some really cool courses. We made a trip out of it and had a blast.
Did it help you prepare for life as a tour professional?
You know, it really did. There was a lot of pressure. We played over there [at Royal County Down, in Northern Ireland] and obviously we played against Rory McIlroy and a lot of other really great players from their side. There were a lot of people out there, so you had that experience of playing in front of big crowds and playing for your country. To me, I think for amateurs it’s the closest thing you can get to a Ryder Cup or a major. It was a big deal.