ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Maybe Dustin Johnson will fare better trying to win his first major coming from behind than he did with the lead.
The South Carolina native put himself in contention at a second straight major championship, moving up to seventh place Saturday at the British Open with a 3-under 69, Johnson has a lot of ground to make up, trailing leader Louis Oosthuizen by nine strokes.
Then again, he had a three-shot advantage going into the final round of the U.S. Open last month – and look how that worked out. Johnson made a triple-bogey at the second hole, erased his cushion and staggered to the finish with a dismal 82 – the worst round by the 54-hole leader in major championship since 1911.
“It was just one of those funny days in golf, and we all have them,” he said. “I put it behind me, and all you can do it learn from things that happen and move on.”
Can Johnson gain redemption with one of the greatest comebacks ever?
“I’m in a spot where I have a chance,” he said. “That’s all you can ask for.”
Johnson insisted he’s over the Pebble Beach meltdown, but he has the chance to prove it. He climbed onto the leaderboard with birdies at the final two holes, including one of only five all day at No. 17, the brutal “Road Hole.”
Now, he’s the one doing the chasing.
It’s a position that seems a bit more comfortable, though Johnson stressed he won’t approach things much differently than a month ago, when he was the hunted.
“It’s nice to be back in the hunt,” Johnson said. “You’ve still got to play golf, though. You’ve still got to focus on yourself. That’s all you can control – what you do. I’m going to go out tomorrow with a game plan and try to stick to it and hopefully make some putts early.”