World No. 1 Dustin Johnson thinks the South Course at Torrey Pines suits his game well as he prepares to compete for his third major title this week at the U.S. Open.
“I think it fits it well, especially this week driving,” Johnson said Wednesday. “If I can drive it well, I feel like I’m going to have a really good week. Fairways are pretty narrow. The course is long, like I was saying, and if I can hit the driver good, yeah, I like my chances.”
Johnson is certainly known for his length off the tee. Of course, it didn’t help him as much as he’d have liked at the PGA Championship in May. Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course measured as the longest course in major history at 7,876 yards; Johnson finished the first two rounds at 6 over and missed the cut.
But the 2016 U.S. Open winner and 2020 Masters champion has come into form since then. He contended for the first two rounds of last week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree and finished tied for 10th. Johnson averaged 336.1 yards driving in that tournament and was 20th in the field in strokes gained: off the tee.
“I felt like last week went pretty well,” Johnson said. “Then obviously I’ve seen a lot of good things this week. I feel like the game’s starting to come back into good form. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.
“Obviously, this week’s a really tough challenge. I feel like the golf course, it’s long, it’s hard, rough, steep. So it’s going to be all we want as golfers for sure.”
Johnson said the USGA’s layout this week was reminiscent of how they prepared Torrey Pines for the 2008 U.S. Open, when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole playoff with a broken leg.
“Maybe a little deeper around the greens,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty thick and healthy around the greens for sure. But like off the fairways and up to the greens, it seems like it’s real similar.”
While Jon Rahm is the consensus betting favorite to win the third major of the season, Johnson is tied for second-shortest odds at both DraftKings (+1500) and BetMGM (+1600). He’s also listed at +1600 at PointsBet, third behind Rahm and Xander Schauffele.
The first round begins Thursday.
–Field Level Media