AUGUSTA – Second-ranked Dustin Johnson admits he’s frustrated and disappointed to only have one major golf victory, but sees plenty of time to boost his career total, starting at this week’s Masters.
The 34-year-old American, dethroned from world number one this week by England’s Justin Rose, captured his only major crown at the 2016 US Open.
His six other top-five major finishes include runner-up showings at the 2011 British Open and 2015 US Open plus a share of fifth at the 2010 PGA Championship after a penalty for grounding his club in a bunker on the 72nd hole cost him a chance at a win.
“I would have definitely liked to have won a couple more. I’ve had some very good opportunities that I didn’t capitalize on,” Johnson said Tuesday.
“Disappointed or frustrated, one of those would be OK to describe that. But I mean, it’s golf. This game’s very frustrating and disappointing at times.
“But I think I’m happy with my career so far. I definitely think it could have been better. But I’ve still got hopefully still got a lot of time left in my career.”
Johnson, one of the game’s longest drivers, was the clear player to beat at the 2017 Masters, arriving at Augusta National after wins at Riviera and the WGC Match-Play and Mexico Championships.
But he fell down a staircase at his rental home in Augusta and hurt his back, forcing him to withdraw.
It’s a missed chance Johnson often recalls as he tries to reclaim the form that he enjoyed before the setback.
“I definitely look back at it a lot,” Johnson said. “I’ve got videos of my swing from when I was here in 2017, and so I watch those a lot to try to just get some of those same feels.
“I feel like the game, it’s close. It’s not as good as it was then, but I feel like it’s going in the right direction.”
Johnson won the WGC Mexico title in February, giving him a US PGA title in each of his first 12 tour seasons, joining Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to accomplish the feat.
Putter key for No. 2 DJ
And he likes his chances this week if he can putt well over the undulating, lightning-fast greens of Augusta National.
“I feel like the game is in very good form right now,” Johnson said. For me, it’s all going to be up to my putting. I think if I can roll it well, I’ll be right there come Sunday.”
“I’m going to have to do everything well if I’m going to have a chance to win on Sunday.” @DJohnsonPGA wants nothing less than perfection in the 2019 Masters Tournament. pic.twitter.com/7mwNxVnvcs
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 10, 2019
Johnson, however, sees himself as more wanting than needing another major win.
“It’s more want. If you’re telling yourself you need to win, I think you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself,” Johnson said.
“Everyone that’s out here wants to win. I want to win every week but I don’t need to win. You put more pressure on yourself if you’re saying you need to win.
“I’ve definitely done that, almost trying too hard. I think I do that quite a bit sometimes.”
Agence France-Presse (AFP)