Harmon on DJ: 'Be a little smarter off the tee'


SAN FRANCISCO – Off a victory at the FedEx St. Jude Classic last week, Dustin Johnson brings an asset to the U.S. Open that makes him one of the favorites this week.

“It gives him tremendous confidence coming here, there’s no doubt about that,” says Butch Harmon, Johnson’s swing coach. “Dustin’s very confident in his abilities anyway.”

Ladbrokes makes Johnson a 25/1 favorite to win this week. Only Tiger Woods (8/1), Luke Donald (12/1), Lee Westwood (12/1), Rory McIlroy (16/1) and Phil Mickelson (20/1) have better odds.

Johnson had a chance to win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach two years ago when he took a three-shot lead into the final round. He closed with an 82. Later that year, he also had a chance to win the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits but controversially grounded his club in a fairway bunker with the penalty taking him out of a playoff.

Harmon says the key for Johnson at The Olympic Club this week will be sparing use of his driver.

“Dustin loves to drive the ball, to use his driver, but you can’t hit many drivers around here,” Harmon said. “He’s going to have to show some patience off the tee and be a little smarter off the tee, and he’ll be fine.”