Dustin Johnson has momentum entering the Masters this week at Augusta National Golf Club.
And he certainly has the talent to win golf’s first major after coming close the past two years.
“Golf, it’s a funny game. It doesn’t matter how good you’re playing, you can still not win,” Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world, said Tuesday. “Same goes for this week. If I want to win here, everything’s going to have to go well for me. I’m going to have to drive it well, hit my irons well, putt it well. Everything is going to have to be really good.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in my game right now, especially with the way I’ve been playing the last few tournaments. But, you know, anything can happen.”
Johnson, who won the U.S. Open last year, has three wins in seven starts this year, and he has finished in the top 10 five times. Not surprisingly, Johnson also is the leader in the FedEx Cup points standings.
“Everything’s got to be working this week, just like any major,” Johnson said of his chances this week. “I don’t know how many guys are in the field, but they are the best golfers in the world, so you’ve got to bring your best stuff if you want to win.”
Johnson is making his eighth Masters start this week, and he has finished in the top 10 the past two years — tied for sixth in 2015 and tied for fourth last year.
He will play with Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker in the first two rounds, and they will play in the final group of Thursday’s first round with a 2:03 p.m. tee time (they will tee off at 10:56 a.m. on Friday).
“I’ve always liked the course, since I came,” Johnson said. “I always thought it suited my game very well. It’s a tough golf course, and everything in your bag needs to be working for you to play well around here.
“The last couple years, I’ve done a little bit better, and I feel like I’ve had a chance. Obviously I’m playing well coming into this week, so hopefully I can continue that success, and I’m looking forward to giving myself a chance to win on Sunday.”
If the Columbia, South Carolina, native can win this week, it would continue a remarkable run for the Palmetto State. Last year, Coastal Carolina (Johnson’s alma mater) won the baseball national title. Clemson won the football national title in January, and South Carolina won the women’s basketball national title last weekend, while the Gamecocks men’s team lost in the Final Four.
“Yeah, we’ve been on a good run. The women won the other night, which is nice, and Coastal won the baseball,” Johnson said. “Hate to say Clemson won the football. I’m a Gamecocks fan. It’s good it was in-state, but I don’t think I’ll ever hear the end of that.”