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Dustin Johnson hopes a 7-wood and a sore knee can capture a PGA Championship

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Think of it as a little upkeep and a lot of peace of thoughts for Dustin Johnson.

The world’s top-ranked golfer had his left knee checked out final week after withdrawing from the Byron Nelson. He spent the week at his house in Palm Beach County, had an MRI and put collectively a plan together with his physician and physiotherapist.

The end result: He’s feeling higher and simply in time for the PGA Championship, which is being performed in his house state.

“It just didn’t feel right,” Johnson mentioned in regards to the knee he had arthroscopic surgical procedure on 20 months in the past. “I got an MRI, everything was fine … and just put together a little bit of a plan to get a little bit stronger. It feels good, though.”

Johnson mentioned the knee has been “off and on a little bit” for the final six months, which coincides together with his sport. Since a stretch through which he completed within the prime 12 in 10 consecutive begins, with three firsts together with the 2020 Masters, Johnson has been outdoors the highest 25 in 5 of this final six, together with lacking the reduce at this yr’s Masters.

Johnson, although, just isn’t placing all of it on his well being.

“Mix of everything,” he mentioned. “I feel like it’s been close the past few months, just haven’t put it all together at the same time.

“But everything feels really good right now. I’ve got a lot of confidence coming into this week.”

And simply in time for the house crowd.

The final time Johnson performed the difficult Ocean Course was the 2012 PGA Championship, which Rory McIlroy received by eight pictures with a 13-under. Johnson was 5-over and completed tied for forty eighth with a second-round 79 on a day when the stroke common was 78.

Prior, Johnson solely remembers enjoying a junior occasion or two on the seaside course. He was raised in Irmo, S.C., about 140 miles from Kiawah Island and then starred at Coastal Carolina University. Yet, he can not bear in mind profitable a vital match in his house state.


PGA Championship: Seven things to learn about Kiawah’s Ocean Course from the 2012 statistics

Kiawah Ocean Course

Kiawah Ocean Course

This could be one to recollect.

“It’s going to be a really tough test,” Johnson mentioned. “It’s long … hitting long clubs in. So you know, especially when the wind is blowing how it has been the last few days, even the downwind holes are tough just because it’s hard to stop the ball.”

Johnson performed principally from the guidelines of the 7,876-yard course throughout his apply rounds and says he used each membership in his bag, a type of being a 7-wood he added earlier than final yr’s PGA at Harding Park.

He was looking for a hybrid he may rise up within the air and land softer than his 3-iron.

“I hit it a few times, really liked it, and it’s been in the bag ever since,” he mentioned. “Hit a lot of different shots with it.”

Johnson is chasing his third main to go together with the 2016 U.S. Open and final yr’s Masters. He was runner-up within the final two PGA Championships, two pictures behind Collin Morikawa final yr and two behind Brooks Koepka in 2019 at Bethpage Black.

Johnson was requested which of the 2 is extra annoying.

“Both of them,” he mentioned. “They are all annoying.”

Winning this one would go a great distance towards getting over these shut calls.

“(The PGA Championship) is definitely on the top of the list of things that I haven’t accomplished and something that I really would like to,” Johnson mentioned. “It would be great obviously to do it here in my home state.”

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