Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dustin Johnson nonplussed on path to add a second major in 2016

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Not much bothers Dustin Johnson.

“Bad drivers. That’s about it,” he said Wednesday.

And that’s normally speaking. So imagine how Johnson feels when he’s gone through a stretch where he won the U.S. Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, finished tied for ninth at the British Open and was co-runner up at the RBC Canadian Open. He’d play a golf tournament just about anywhere at anytime right now, so you’d understand that Johnson isn’t concerned about bumping up the PGA Championship, the season’s final major, by a week to accommodate golf’s return to the Olympics.

“Whatever the schedule is, I feel like I’m at a point where I can prepare for it,” Johnson said. “You know, it’s definitely different, playing so many majors pretty close together. But I don’t know, I’ve done pretty well this year, so I kind of like it.”


Yeah, tied for fourth, a win and a tie for ninth is good.

He comes to Baltusrol confident in all facets of his game. The cut swing he uses to hit driver leaves him in the fairway more often and as long as ever. He has dramatically improved his wedge game in the last two years, topping the PGA Tour’s rankings inside 125 yards. Even his putting, mediocre by most measures, has gotten better.

But it’s his length that should be the biggest asset this week at a course that can play 7,500 yards. Listening to Johnson, however, it didn’t seem that way.

“This golf course, I hit a lot of drivers. It’s par 70, but it’s quite long. I feel like I wear out my 8- and 9-iron on the par 4s,” he said.

That’s the confidence of a man who pounds wedge after wedge on the range knowing he could probably get around most golf courses with driver, wedge and a putter.

He added, “And then the par 3s are fairly long, too. I hit a lot of 5-irons it feels like.”

Johnson is a man of few words. He doesn’t offer long explanations of his thinking, or what he’s doing with his game, or his views on architecture. He’ll plainly tell you what he thinks, no more, no less. So when he shared how he thinks he’ll handle Baltusrol this week, it only reaffirmed what most everyone here knows: D.J. is the favorite.

“I think it’s in really good shape,” he said. “I feel like it sets up well for me.”

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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