(Reuters) – Dustin Johnson has endured his fair share of major heartbreak but on Thursday the former world number one said his near miss at this month’s PGA Championship, where he finished runner-up to Collin Morikawa, was not another painful experience.
Johnson fired a final-round 68 at San Francisco’s Harding Park 11 days ago and opted not to talk to the media after he dropped to 0-for-4 as a 54-hole leader in a major.
But after his first round at the FedExCup playoff opener in Norton, Massachusetts, Johnson held his head high when asked about his performance during the year’s first major.
“I played really well. I mean, I played solid,” Johnson said of his final round performance at the PGA Championship.
“Generally, with the lead shooting 68 at a major on Sunday, nine times out of 10 you’re going to win. I mean, obviously Collin played really well that Sunday.”
Johnson, whose lone major title came at the 2016 U.S. Open, started the final round of the PGA Championship with a one-shot lead but could not keep pace as nine different players held at least a share of the lead.
“It’s just one of those things,” said Johnson. “They set the back nine up where you could attack it, but it was just tough to get in that mentality of attacking the golf course when you’re playing defensively kind of all week.
“But it was there. I played solid. Wasn’t upset with it. Obviously, I would have loved to have won, but I played good, finished second, that’s all right.”
At the Northern Trust on Thursday for the opening event of the PGA Tour’s FedExCup playoffs, Johnson mixed an eagle with four birdies and two bogeys for a four-under-par 67.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)