(Reuters) – Two-time major winner Dustin Johnson hopes months of fine-tuning his game will turn around a frustrating winless stretch at The Players Championship, where he is aiming to hoist the trophy on his 13th attempt.
The American arrived at TPC Sawgrass this week having missed the cut at last month’s Genesis Invitational, after failing to crack the top 20 since the Tour Championship in September, where he finished eighth.
He’s been without a tournament victory since the Masters in November 2020, a seemingly inexplicable drought from the 37-year-old perennial contender and 24-time PGA Tour winner.
“Last year I felt like I was doing a lot of driver testing, and then so kind of took away a little bit from what I needed to be working on,” said Johnson.
“Testing drivers all year then kind of leaks into the iron game, and it just felt like I never could really match it up where if I was driving it well, I wasn’t hitting my irons very good, if I was hitting my irons really well, I wasn’t driving it good.
“So it was just kind of a frustrating year.”
He told reporters at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, that he has gotten his putting game back on track after frustrating stumbles at Genesis.
He’ll need a red-hot putter and every other weapon in his arsenal available to tame TPC Sawgrass, where he has recorded only one top-five Players Championship finish.
“I like the golf course and I feel like it sets up well for me,” said Johnson.
“I would say if anything, that’s held me back, it’s probably just putting around here. But I feel like moving to March, I feel like I can read the greens a little bit better.”
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Toby Davis)