DUBLIN, Ohio – Dustin Johnson has not competed on the PGA Tour since the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March. Forgive him for having to knock off some rust this week at the Memorial, in more ways than one.
'It's definitely been a long time,' he said on Tuesday. 'I forgot to pack some stuff. Wasn't quite in the routine. But getting back out here on the golf course feels great.'
Johnson forgot to pack his battery of belts for the week but hopes his game has traveled after more than two months away from the Tour.
'I'm swinging well,' he said. 'Short game is pretty good. It just all depends on the putter, really. If I putt well, I'm going to play well.'
The world No. 20 has been sidelined since he suffered a back injury moving a jet ski in late March. He withdrew from the Masters before the tournament began.
'I really didn't touch a club for five, six weeks,' he said.
Johnson had off-season knee surgery, returning at the Humana Challenge. He withdrew in the second round, however, due to back pain which flared up when moving the jet ski.
'I had knee surgery, and then I rehabbed that, and really, that went really well,' he said, 'and then to have a back injury was pretty frustrating.'
Rumors swirled that Johnson had been out of action due to a suspension from the Tour. His agent denied any truth to the speculation. Johnson doesn't let the whispers bother him.
'People talk all the time, so people make stuff up, especially when I'm not out here I guess they use their imagination a little too much,' he said.
Through the last several months, Johnson learned a crucial lesson.
'I've just got to be kind of careful of stuff you're doing and just kind of pay attention to what you're doing,' he said with a laugh, 'especially as I'm getting older.'