PGA Championship 2017: Dustin Johnson—remember him?—seeking to revenge missed opportunities

CHARLOTTE—The PGA Championship’s “Glory’s Last Shot” aphorism is no more, though a idea still rings true. Especially for Dustin Johnson.

In a early weeks of April, it was preordained that Johnson would win a vital in 2017; a usually doubt was how many. In a four-tournament span, he kick or tied all though dual competitors, capturing dual WGC titles and a Genesis Open in a process. His usually bad pre-Augusta display was a missed cut during Torrey Pines, that was justified, meaningful that Johnson had flown to Dubai days before. Coupled with his play in 2016, a rave to a Masters felt reduction like a contest preview and some-more like a coronation. Forget Player of a Year: Could Johnson contention one of a best seasons in complicated golf?

Four months and a staircase occurrence later, Johnson is seeking his initial top 50 during a vital this season. He’s still No. 1 in a world—but no longer a favorite for POY honors. Amazingly, he is a delegate title in Charlotte.

As discussed in a PGA Championship podcast, when a actor reaches a certain echelon, he is judged only by his vital performances. This rubs some a wrong way, digest a rest of a 40-week deteriorate hollow. Classifying a three-victory debate (with a probability of more) a disaster given of non wins in 4 specific events seems unfair, a form of prohibited take saved for a radio show.

Conversely, as time has proven, story frequency remembers what we did in Buick Classics or Houston Opens, even WGC events. But a vital is forever. In this vein, walking divided from Quail Hollow though a Wanamaker Trophy suggests Dustin Johnson’s 2017 — one that was unfailing for excellence — would be a disappointment.

If Johnson’s feeling additional vigour this week, he didn’t communicate it when vocalization to a media during Quail Hollow on Tuesday. Though revelation a damage and successive struggles have been maddening, a 33-year-old was upbeat about his prospects.

“Things happen, and so now I’ve only got to quarrel and use and work tough to get behind to where we was,” Johnson said. “You know, we feel like it’s unequivocally tighten to being behind to how good it was before a Masters.”

Johnson conceded partial of a emanate stemmed from his reconstruction plan, during slightest per his golf preparation.

“I substantially did it in a wrong order,” Johnson said. “After holding time off, apparently your brief game, we remove a small feel, a small touch. But if we would have only been operative on that, afterwards my prolonged diversion wouldn’t have had to have been as good, given afterwards we could get up-and-down.

“When we get an injury, it’s tough to contend what to do initial or how to work behind into it. we did spend a lot of time on wedges and things though we never felt like my wedges—I mislaid any control with a wedges.”

In Johnson’s defense, it wasn’t like his opening has been off a reservation. In his initial coming from injury, he logged a T-2 during a Wells Fargo Championship, and followed with worthy outings during a Players (T-12) and a Byron Nelson (T-13). But afterwards Johnson missed cuts during both a Memorial and U.S. Open, and notwithstanding a clever Saturday pull during Birkdale, finished T-54 during a Open Championship interjection to a seven-over turn on Sunday. It was his misfortune three-tournament widen given 2013.

“Yeah, apparently it’s unequivocally frustrating,” Johnson said. “You’ve only got to understanding with them.”

There has been hope, evidenced in a top-10 during a Canadian Open and a clever weekend (68-66) in Akron. This week’s conditions — prolonged and soppy — are tailored to his game, as he ranks initial in strokes gained: tee-to-green and second in off-the-tee.

And if golf is a diversion of confidence, Johnson’s not certain on conviction: When asked where his stream feel ranked from 1 to 10 — with his pre-Masters diversion earning a 9 — Johnson gave himself an 8 1/2.

“It’s a contest that we would really like to win,” Johnson said, “and we feel like there’s no improved week than this one.”

It’s golf’s final possibility for excellence in 2017, and Johnson’s prepared to take his shot.

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