Johnson primed for US Open defence after missing Masters


Dustin Johnson's having a busy week - his fiancee, Paulina Gretzky, gave birth on Monday. and then he flew out to Wisconsin for the USA open on Tuesday - and it's all part of the family plan. Jones is the maiden name of Gretzky's mother (Janet Jones), and the last name of Johnson's late grandmother (Carole Jones), his biggest influence during his teenage years.

Johnson heads into the defence of the U.S. Open as clear favourite to become the first golfer since fellow American Curtis Strange to win back-to-back titles in 1989.

To some it would be a whirlwind 72 hours. Johnson is still the best golfer in the world and could definitely win this thing, it just seems more likely to me that Johnson will backdoor a top-10 by going low on Sunday. "This is why I'm here".

Johnson had actually got his first look at Erin Hills last Saturday and immediately liked what he saw.

Johnson, ranked No. 1 in the world, arrived at the course Tuesday afternoon and played 18 holes.

"Business as usual", said his swing coach Claude Harmon.

The length. The fairways and rough.

An appearance in the U.S. Open isn't the only major event happening in Johnson's life this week.

"But now I've got to play golf". I think it sets up very well for me.

The Northern Irishman will be playing alongside Day and Augusta runner-up Justin Rose for the first two rounds, and it would not be a surprise should the eventual champion come from that group. He lacks the distance required at Erin Hills, but will certainly make up for it with driving accuracy, consistent iron play and sharp putting. "The rough is awful". Paulina [Gretzky] and my son, they're at home now. In the last 12 weeks, his average finishing position of 17.6 is second in the US Open field and since February, he's been outside the Top 20 just once.

Entering this week, he has a almost five-points average lead in the Official World Golf Ranking over No. 2 Rory McIlroy. "But we asked ourselves what was in the best interests of the championship, the players, the fans, and this is the way we wanted to go".

Johnson, who can also become only the second No1 after Tiger Woods since 1989 to win the Major, won $1.8m in prize money for his triumph at Oakmont a year ago.

In 2017, Johnson has seven top-10s in 11 starts, including three wins. Us Weekly has learned that it was Johnson's grandfather and former L.A. Lakers player Art Whisnant who gave O'Connor consent to publish the photo online.

"I am going to keep my game sharp the next couple of days. but it's not looking good".

Top 10 lock - Jason Day: He has four top 10s in the last five years at this tournament.

"It's weird carrying the bag", said Love III, the 1997 PGA champion who is being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame this fall.