By Rahul Lal


Dustin Johnson is fresh off a $1.8 million payday after taking home the U.S. Open in Oakmont, Pennsylvania on Sunday. As he knocked in the final putt of the tournament, Johnson was instantly embraced by his caddie and turned over to hug his picture perfect family on what is sure to be a memorable Fathers’ Day.

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But Dustin Johnson is certainly not your “picture perfect” major champion.

Johnson has been one of the most controversial figures in golf since he turned pro in 2007. In 2012 Johnson announced he hurt his back lifting a jet ski, however, it is largely believed that Johnson was suspended following a positive drug test and the Professional Golf Association covered it up.  The PGA is not obligated to release suspension details. In 2014, Johnson was suspended for the second time following a positive drug test. He has reportedly tested positive for both cocaine and marijuana on multiple occasions spanning over five years.

In 2015, Johnson did an interview hinting his problem was actually binge drinking — not drugs. “I don’t miss waking up with a hangover,” Johnson said. Since then, he has taken steps to improve his physical and mental health.

To add to his rock star lifestyle, Johnson got engaged to hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina, in 2013. The couple had a son in 2014. Gretzky has made a name for herself as a model and aspiring singer as well. She is often considered one of the most desirable celebrity athlete’s wives.

While the two have a beautiful family, Johnson wasn’t always considered a picture perfect family man.

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Even Johnson’s win yesterday came with a bit of controversy. On the fifth hole during the final round of yesterday’s major, Johnson’s ball moved slightly as he was getting ready to putt. He was later penalized by a stroke and many golfers including Jordan Spieth (2015 U.S. Open winner), Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Webb Simpson were outraged with the USGA’s decision.

Even with the penalty, Johnson secured his second major by a total of three strokes and added a little more controversy to his storied legacy. It will be very interesting to see as Johnson’s future continues to unfold and whether he will be able to stay out of the headlines for wrong reasons.

So, are his controversial days over for good? Only time with tell.

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Rahul Lal is an LA native stuck in a lifelong, love-hate relationship with the Lakers, Dodgers and Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter here.