Dustin Johnson ready to make up for lost time
Prior to withdrawing from last year’s Masters Tournament, Dustin Johnson said his confidence level — on a scale of 1 to 10 — was 10.
A year later, it hasn't decreased much.
“9 1/2,” said Johnson, when asked where his confidence stood Tuesday. “I’ve started to swing it a lot better.”
Johnson, ranked No. 1, finished in the top six at Augusta National in 2015 and 2016, and was favored to win the tournament last April before suffering a freak injury to his lower back during a fall at his rental home the night before the Masters.
When asked what he plans to do this Wednesday, Johnson joked, “Take it really easy.”
“I get asked (about the fall) every day out here,” Johnson said. “I'm reminded all the time.”
Johnson’s best Masters finish is a tie for fourth in 2016. The South Carolina native has made the cut in six of seven appearances.
“I know what it takes, first and foremost,” Johnson said. “I know what it takes to get it done in a major, and it's never easy. But I know what it takes. I've been there, like I said, a few times, and this week's going to be no different.”
Growing up less than two hours from Augusta National, Johnson admits he’s always dreamed of donning green on Sunday afternoon.
“As a kid on the putting green, when you're putting against your friends or even if you're out there by yourself, it's always a putt to win the Masters,” Johnson said. “I came here as a kid and then watching it on TV as a kid, and then in college we got to come out here and walk around a few times. After playing in the Augusta State tournament they gave us tickets. So it's always been special to me, and it will be forever.”
Johnson played two practice rounds at Augusta National last week, and was on the grounds again Sunday for preparation. He added that he wouldn’t mind being paired with Tiger Woods this weekend.
“I would like to shake hands with Tiger on Sunday on the first tee — if we were both leading,” said Johnson, laughing. “I think that would be a lot of fun."