Will Jekyll or Hyde show up at the 3M Open?
Dustin Johnson ended June tasting victory at the Travelers Championship, marking his first win on the PGA Tour in over a year and extending his streak to at least one victory on Tour for 13 consecutive years.
He took two weeks off to fish, rest and spend time with family and then returned at Muirfield Village for the Memorial Tournament last week. The result was the opposite of the Johnson on display at TPC River Highlands who carded rounds of 69-64-61-67 to win by one stroke. The former PGA Tour Player of the Year returned to action with back-to-back rounds of 80 to miss the cut at Jack Nicklaus’ signature tournament.
On Tuesday, ahead of his 3M Open debut at TPC Twin Cities, the 21-time PGA Tour winner brushed off his flop at Muirfield.
“Well, obviously last week was a bit of a struggle for a lot of different reasons, but yeah, I feel like I’ve had some good practice, you know, Sunday and Monday,” Johnson said. “So I feel like the game’s in good form. I actually felt like the game was in good form going into the Memorial last week, just, yeah, I just struggled.
“It’s one of those weeks. Yeah, I mean, I’ve still got a lot of confidence in what I’m doing. I feel like the game’s there, so I’m definitely excited and looking forward to this week.”
The 36-year-old said the course he’ll attempt to conquer this week in Blaine, Minnesota, is “set up well” for his skill set and actually fits him better than Muirfield Village despite the fact that he’s only played the course once — earlier this week. Johnson played nine holes Sunday and the other nine Monday.
But a better fit doesn’t make the Arnold Palmer-designed course any easier, he clarified.
“I don’t feel like the course is too easy,” Johnson said. “I mean, if you play well, that’s any golf course, you can shoot a good number, but you’re going to have to drive it well. There’s a lot of water and there’s a lot of trouble off the tees. If you can drive it well, then I feel like you can shoot some good scores.”
The 2016 U.S. Open winner is seeking multiple victories on Tour for the first time since 2018 when he won three events, two coming over the summer at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and RBC Canadian Open.
In his four events after the PGA Tour season resumed following a 13-week hiatus, Johnson missed two cuts, won at TPC River Highlands and finished T-17 at the RBC Heritage.
One potential advantage for Johnson this week if his game returns to where it was at the Travelers is his standing in the field.
Johnson, ranks No. 30 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ranking and No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking, headlines the field at the 3M Open along with Tommy Fleetwood (No. 17 on the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings), Harris English (No. 19), Tony Finau (No. 21), Paul Casey (No. 25) and Brooks Kopeka (No. 27).
While many other top-ranked golfers are taking the week off to rest, Johnson chose to play. The 3M Open is the second of four straight events for the two-time Byron Nelson Award winner on the Tour’s revised schedule.
“It fit the schedule this year to play last week (at the Memorial) and then I’m going to play four in a row here, playing Memphis and then the PGA and then I’ll take a week off before the Playoffs,” he said. “So for me, it worked out in the schedule to play this week. … I’ve never played this tournament, so it was something that I wanted to come up and give it a shot.”
Johnson currently sits at No. 25 with 1,154 points in the FedExCup standings.