(Sports Network) - Three years ago, he grounded a club where he shouldn't
have. On Friday, he wanted to break some clubs at how he finished.
Dustin Johnson is one of the most talented players on the PGA Tour, but when
it comes to the major championships, strange things tend to happen to him.
At the 2010 PGA Championship, there was much debate as to whether Johnson
grounded his club in a bunker. Or was it just a waste area? Players had been
warned that all sandy surfaces were to be considered bunkers during the
On the 18th hole during the final round, Johnson pushed his drive well right
into the crowd. He grounded his club behind the ball. Afterwards, he was given
a 2-stroke penalty, which knocked him out of the playoff and down into a share
The following year at the PGA Championship, Johnson missed the cut. Then he
shared 48th last year.
Johnson has had a top-10 finish in every major but the Masters. He was easily
en route to changing that on Friday.
The big-hitting 28-year-old bounced back from a pair of early bogeys to take
the lead after scrambling to birdie the par-5 13th from the trees.
However, it all fell apart from there. Johnson's drive on 14 hit a tree, which
left him a longer second shot than expected. He blew his second shot over the
green and failed to get up and down for par.
Johnson remained one stroke clear of the field, but there was plenty of
trouble on the horizon. His drive on 15 stopped on a sprinkler head, and he
dropped into the fairway.
With wind in his face, Johnson played his second down the fairway instead of
going for the green. He flubbed his third into the water. Johnson chipped on,
but 2-putted for a double bogey.
Amazingly, he was still tied for the lead as those around him were also
struggling. But as they righted the ship, Johnson kept sinking after a par on
Johnson's drive on 17 also found the trees and he punched his second down the
fairway. He chipped to five feet and had a chance to save par, but failed to
convert that putt.
At the last, another poor drive led to more issues. Johnson's second shot
stopped in a greenside bunker, and he left his third in that same bunker.
Another chip and two putts later, Johnson walked off with a closing double
Six shots dropped in his last five holes.
That sent him from first place to four strokes behind the clubhouse leaders.
Johnson is far from out of contention, but he'll have a lot more work to do
over the weekend than he anticipated.
Johnson's best finish at Augusta National is a share of 30th. Two more rounds
like his first one, and he'll easily change that. But two more rounds like
Friday's, and he'll finish way down the leaderboard.
Which will we see on the weekend? It is still unknown, but Johnson needs to
play steadier if he wants to don the green jacket in the near future.
The Sports Network