The Tiger-mania may have overshadowed another near miss at a second Major for World No 1 Dustin Johnson, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
The 34-year-old American has failed to replicate his PGA TOUR dominance – he is on the other side of 20 tour wins – with just one win at the Major stage – 2016 US Open.
He finished in the group sharing second at Augusta as Woods’ win grabbed all headlines, and in a way, this obscured the fact that Johnson missed a chance to force a playoff with a 72nd-hole birdie miss.
The notoriously difficult Bethpage Black is set to show its teeth this week with heavy rains and cold conditions providing for a long, challenging layout. This may suit the big-hitter as he looks to secure another big win.
‘The course is playing extremely long. It sets up well for me. I feel like I can drive it good around here,’ Johnson said.
‘For me, it’s all about driving. I really like this course. But you’ve got to hit the fairways here. The rough is pretty penal. It’s not super deep, but it’s just really thick.’
A win would help alleviate some of the frustration incurred after running close on golf’s biggest stages without doing enough to win.
‘Disappointed, I wouldn’t go with, but a little frustrated sometimes, just because I’ve had quite a few chances and I’ve felt like a few of them I really didn’t do anything,’ he said.
‘But that’s just how it is. It’s hard to win majors. If it were easy, a lot of guys would have a lot more than they do. It’s just tough.
‘They’re always on tough golf courses, and you’ve got to put four good rounds together. But I feel good coming into this week, and I feel like this is a golf course where I’ve had success and I can play it well, especially in these conditions.’
Johnson’s has eight top-five finishes across the four Majors.
DJ forms part of the 7:16pm (SA time) group which includes Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth.