But after controversy, a personal crisis and fatherhood, something changed within Johnson.
His breakthrough major title at the 2016 US Open paved the way for a streak which has yielded five more wins, including three this season, and catapulted him to world No. 1.
“I can have someone tell me to do stuff all the time every day and if I don’t want to do it, I ain’t gonna do it,” the 32-year-old told CNN’s Living Golf.
“It’s got to come from me. Obviously people give me advice and what I should do, but I’m only going to do what I think I want to do. So, it was just time.
“I was just fed up with, you know, being good. I thought I could be a lot better.”