PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Dustin Johnson had another big day at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
He put up a 7-under-par 64 Friday at Monterey Peninsula.
That’s a big deal, because even in his two victories in this event, he has never put up a very good score at Monterey Peninsula, one of the three courses in the rotation.
“Probably my lowest by seven shots,” Johnson said.
Actually, it was by four strokes, but his point was made. This marked just the second time he has broken 70 at Monterey Peninsula.
Johnson told assembled media he was really happy with his score, but it wasn’t even the best athletic feat in his family that day.
His father bowled a perfect game.
“He bowled a 300,” Johnson said. “It’s not even his first one. He’s bowled six or seven of them. He can roll the rock pretty well.”
Johnson is the world No. 1 in golf, and he can pad his lead atop the rankings by winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for a third time. He’s also a pretty good bowler himself, though he has never rolled a perfect game. His best is a 292.
“Rolled 11 strikes in a row and then I gassed it,” Johnson said.
Johnson will be looking to bowl over the field this weekend, like he did in the year’s first event, when he won the Sentry Tournament of Champions by eight shots.
After playing Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula, Johnson will play Pebble Beach Golf Links over the final two rounds. It’s his favorite course in the rotation.
While Jordan Spieth’s 68.8 scoring average is the best over the last 30 years in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Johnson sports the best scoring average at Pebble Beach Golf Links over the last 10 years. He’s averaging 68.9 at Pebble in this event.
Johnson has his driver going long and straight, and that’s bad news for the rest of the field.
“I feel like if I’m driving it really well, I’m very tough to beat,” he said.
Johnson didn’t win at Pebble Beach last year, but it was about this time of the year that he started looking dominant. He won the Genesis Open, the WGC-Mexico Championship and the WGC-Dell Match Play Champoinship in consecutive starts.
That run sent Johnson to the Masters as the overwhelming favorite to win the year’s first major, but he never made it to the first tee after slipping on the steps at his rented house and injuring his back.
Johnson was asked if his game is back to the level it was when he mounted that winning streak.
“The game's really close,” he said. “I don't know if it's quite as good as it was during that stretch. That was probably some of the best golf I've played in my career, but parts of the game are just as good.
“I would say that I'm driving it well, but I'm probably not quite as good as I was when on those three wins, but everything else feels like it's really good.”