After close call in Houston, DJ readies for major test


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Dustin Johnson arrived in this corner of Georgia at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, just hours after closing with a 69 to finish two shots out of the lead at the Shell Houston Open.

Whatever lingering thoughts of that loss, however, quickly dissipated as he made his way onto the property at Augusta National early Monday.

The year’s first major has a tendency to do that.

“When I drove in to register, that would be when it kind of sinks in and you start really preparing yourself for this week,” Johnson said.

Unlike perhaps any other event, the Masters is the ultimate competitive reset for professionals, a chance to leave behind whatever swing flaws have cropped up since the season began and start anew.

For Johnson, it also means his quest to win his first major continues after near misses in every other Grand Slam event.

Johnson has just one top-10 finish in six starts at Augusta National, with his best finish coming last year when he tied for sixth.

“Last year I felt like I played a little bit better around here. This golf course is one of those courses where all parts of your game need to be working,” said Johnson, who has finished in the top 5 in three of his last four starts. “This year, I feel like I'm coming in with a pretty solid game. I feel like every part of my game is improving.”