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On target: Z. Johnson in contention at Players

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – As if on cue, Zach Johnson has once again put his name on the leaderboard at The Players Championship.

Johnson’s target-golf style tends to suit Pete Dye designs, and his recent record at TPC Sawgrass backs up that assertion. Johnson hasn’t finished worse than T-26 at this event since 2010, and he tied for second in 2012. After a bogey-free 68 in the second round, Johnson moved to 5 under and sits three shots behind Kevin Na.

“You’re going to hit good shots and still struggle to make pars occasionally, and when I did that, my short game was really good,” he said. “For the most part, it was just really solid. I kept the golf course in front of me for the most part.”

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Johnson missed the cut in surprising fashion last month at the RBC Heritage, another Dye design, but his game has been otherwise solid in recent weeks. He has four top-20 finishes in his last five starts, including a T-9 finish at the Masters.

With a bogey-free streak that has now reached 24 holes, Johnson has put himself in a strong position but remains wary of the trouble that still lurks on the Stadium Course.

“I think that’s the beauty and the subtleties of Pete Dye and what he did here,” Johnson said. “Once you think you have it, it’s going to chew you up a little.”