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PGA Golf

Wayne Gretzky praises future son-in-law Dustin Johnson, calls him ‘a wonderful person’


Despite the struggles that Dustin Johnson presently is going through, his future father-in-law, Dustin Johnson, had nothing but nice things to say about the golfer, calling him “a wonderful person with a good heart.”

Gretzky made the comments praising Johnson during a radio interview with Toronto’s Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Wednesday.

The two have established a friendly relationship since Johnson began courting Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina, even playing together in a tournament at Pebble Beach.

Johnson of course went through a tumultuous few weeks in late July, early August. The 30-year-old budding superstar announced he was taking a voluntary leave of absence from the PGA Tour “to seek professional help,” which presumably was for chemical dependency issues.

The voluntary nature of his so-called leave of absence was trumped by a report that the PGA had suspended Johnson for six months failing a drug test for what was believed to be cocaine.

This report was later refuted by the PGA, and as it stands now, Johnson is considered to be on a voluntary leave for all intents and purposes.

With the belief that Johnson was attending to his issues by way of professional help shortly thereafter, the golfer was spotted caddying for fiancée Paulina Gretzky at a posh Idaho resort as well as “putting on a clinic” in a photo posted to Instagram by future mother-in-law Janet Gretzky.

Since early August when the above photos surfaced, things have been remarkably quiet on the Dustin Johnson front. The Gretzkys, with whom Johnson was spending time with in Idaho, certainly rallied around the golfer in the weeks and months following his taking leave from the Tour. It appears that the family is remaining by his side still, as Gretzky’s comments on Wednesday clearly indicate.

“Obviously life isn’t perfect and he went through a tough time and, as he said to me, ‘It’s going to make me a better person and a more responsible person, and through that it’s going to make me a better athlete and better golfer,’ ” Gretzky said, according to a Winnipeg Sun report.

“In life, unfortunately, sometimes we forget that even athletes are human and there’s bumps in the road, and most importantly he’s a wonderful person with a good heart and we care about him. He’s our future son-in-law and we love him dearly,” The Great One continued. “It’s been a tough time… When you go through tough times as a family that’s when you have to stick together the most.”

The support of his future in-laws likely are paying great dividends as Johnson continues his recovery, no matter the nature or reasons behind his leave. When Johnson returns to the course and mounts his comeback, however, remains to be seen.