Dustin Johnson Returns To His Favorite Place In Golf
February 12, 2018
A year ago, at the 2017 Genesis Open, Dustin Johnson went to No. 1 in the world with a world-class performance at Riviera.
Johnson turned a marathon finish into a Sunday stroll in the Genesis Open. He finished the third round in the morning with a 7-under 64 to build a five-shot lead, stretched it to nine shots at one point in the final round and coasted home to a 71 and a five-shot victory.
In 2018, DJ is running on all cylinders with a win at Kapalua in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and a T-2 in last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The world’s No. 1 recently took some time to talk about his love for Riviera, Los Angeles and being atop the world rankings.
What is it about Riviera CC that makes you so comfortable?
“It’s the course. Such a good golf course. There’s really not much trouble, so you simply have to hit good golf shots. You have to work the ball and miss in the right spots. Ever since I came here as a rookie I’ve loved the course. It’s a place that really suits my eye.”
Los Angeles is your adopted second home. Is there a “home-field advantage” feel here?
“Yeah, for sure. I have a lot of friends and family that are going to come out and support every time I’m here. It’s always a great week with everyone out there following me and it’ll definitely be an extra boost come tournament week.”
The three wins in a row following last year’s Genesis Open – have you played a better stretch of golf in your career?
“No, I really haven’t played a better stretch of golf. I felt like my game was where it needed to be. Leading into the Masters I was in complete control of the game and had everything working well. I was obviously looking forward to giving the green jacket a run but unfortunately I injured myself in a freak accident. It took me a long time to get my game back to being even close to where it was before the start of this tournament last year.”
You became No. 1 in the world after last year’s victory. How important is maintaining that ranking?
“I mean, I really like being No. 1 in the world. For me, it’s really a huge motivator to continue to practice hard, work hard in the gym and it’s a bonus to prove that what I’m doing is working. It keeps motivating me to get better and continue to work on my skill.”
How critical has it been to your game changing from a draw to a cut off the tee?
“It’s definitely changed my driving a lot as far as my misses being tighter, I hit more fairways and I haven’t really lost any distance. I was struggling to drive the ball of a sudden and my misses became way too penal. So one day I was over at Sherwood CC getting ready for the season and just went out and decided to try hitting only cut shots. I played really well and felt fairly comfortable. From then on, I’ve played the cut.”
First round play of the 2018 Genesis Open begins on Thursday. Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased here. Use promo code SCGA at checkout and $15 will be donated to the SCGA Junior Foundation.