Dustin Johnson will compete in a PGA Tour event for the first time in more than three months when he returns to the circuit. The same DJ is back for another year.
During a question and answer session on Tuesday at the Farmers Insurance Open, a player was asked if starting at Torrey Pines, rather than last week’s more scoring-friendly American Express, makes for a rougher return:
“No. I mean, it’s a golf course,” he said.
Asked if the tournament’s Wednesday-Saturday schedule was of concern:
“It’s not. It’s just days,” he said.
If there is one difference between the Johnson of today and the Johnson of 2022, it might be his trust in his driver. Last season, he ranked 21st on the Tour in strokes gained: off the tee and seventh in distance, but he ranked 136th in accuracy off the tee.
Following the ’20 Masters, he also failed to win a tournament and, more shockingly, failed to finish in the top five in any of his subsequent tournaments.
“It wasn’t that bad, but it just wasn’t – it was frustrating to me just because I just wasn’t consistent. Obviously, I put a lot of good rounds together, but I just couldn’t put four rounds together. It felt like when I was hitting the driver good, I wasn’t hitting my irons very well. If I was hitting my irons well, I wasn’t driving it good. Just nothing was matching up,” Johnson said.
“[A]fter last year I just, I was frustrated with everything, so a break was what I needed. And one thing that I was really frustrated with was with my driver and we got a new driver this year, the new Stealth driver, and I really like it.”
When he says he took a break, he truly means that he took a break from his work. Johnson said he spent a lot of time with his family and “went fishing a couple of times.” “Anything and everything except golf.”
Only last week did Johnson begin to prepare for the resumption of his season, despite the fact that he had only played in one event during the current season, a T-45 at the CJ Cup in October. Because DJ, Johnson said he tried out TaylorMade’s new Stealth driver and liked the first model they gave him, which was the first one they gave him.
Now that he’s had a chance to reset his body and mind – as well as his driver – Johnson says he’s looking forward to improving on an unusually disappointing season. And, perhaps more importantly, he is relieved to have completed his first media appearance of the new year.
“I haven’t had to think this much in a long time,” he said on Tuesday in response to the flurry of questions.
Read the original article on Golf Channel.