Masters star Dustin Johnson's amazing life tale includes link to a murder and tumultuous love story with Paulina Gretzky

DUSTIN JOHNSON gives little away on the golf course – and even less in interviews.

With a gunslinger swagger, stunning fiancée and millions upon millions in the bank, the best golfer in the world and new Masters champion has an air of almost unbelievable serenity.

No wonder he doesn’t feel the need to deliver a sponsor-friendly soundbite or play up to the cameras.

Yet behind the manicured beard and cocksure strut is a remarkable life story with more than its fair share of controversy.

An amazingly talented player with a swing you would never find in any textbook, Johnson’s potential to play at the highest level was never in doubt.

But his life choices threatened to throw it all down the pan.

And more than once.

When he was just 16, Johnson, who was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, was linked with a gun later used in a murder.

A report on claimed Johnson was coerced by a friend’s older brother into buying bullets for the gun, stolen in a robbery.

Recalling the event, Johnson, now 36, told the website: “I sat down with myself afterward, looked in the mirror and realised, ‘This is not who I am, not what I want to be’.

“I wanted to go to college. I wanted to play golf. It was an easy decision, getting back on the right path. I didn't want to throw all this good stuff away.”

Then, in 2009, his second full season on the lucrative PGA Tour in America, Johnson was arrested for driving under the influence.

A dashboard video from the cop’s car showed Johnson unable to walk in a straight line.

Despite all this, Johnson’s game kept going from strength to strength.

He was no longer the kid from South Carolina with a bright future but a bona fide superstar.

It was around this time too, in 2013, that his public profile began to build, with Paulina Gretzky, son of ice hockey legend Wayne, watching Dustin play a tournament in Hawaii.

Soon they went public with their relationship – even though Dustin initially denied even knowing her.

The pair got engaged in 2013 after seven months of dating and now have two boys, Tatum, five, and River, three, together.

Stability off the course was what Johnson needed, especially after he threw away the 2010 US Open with a disastrous final-round 82.

And he wasted a chance to win the 2010 US PGA Championship by touching a bunker with his club on the final hole, sparking a dramatic late penalty.

But doubts surfaced over their future together just weeks before the 2018 Ryder Cup when Paulina deleted all trace of Dustin from her Instagram page.

With split rumours whirling amid Johnson’s alleged friendship with socialite Yassie Safai, the golfer took to Twitter to set the record straight.

He said: “Every relationship goes through its ups and downs, but most importantly, we love each other very much and are committed to being a family.

“Thank you for your love and support.”

Just as well Johnson took the high road.

When he broke up with Amanda Caulder in 2011, she is said to have reacted by taking throwing all his things out of the house and turning them into a bonfire.

The cause of that drama was Johnson’s close friendship with fellow golfer Natalie Gulbis, although he denied ever being in a relationship with her.

Incredibly, Johnson’s off-course issues has even threatened to bubble over onto the links.

SunSport told you how Johnson and fellow American golfer Brooks Koepka almost came to blows after the last Ryder Cup in 2018.

The duo, who were nicknamed the ‘Bash Brothers’ for their long hitting and punishing workouts in the gym, had to be pulled apart.

It is believed the row was centred around Johnson’s conviction that Koepka – himself loved up with model Jena Sims – was getting too close to Paulina, while consoling her over her relationship issues with Dustin.

During all this, Johnson managed to win the 2016 US Open and cement himself as one of the game’s modern day greats.

And the past 18 months have been total bliss, with Paulina congratulating her man when he pocketed £11.2million for winning the FedEx Cup in September.

Finally, with all the off-course issues knocked out of bounds for good, Johnson can focus on what he does best: win golf tournaments.

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