JERSEY CITY, N.J. – As the sun settled over the Manhattan skyline late Thursday, Dustin Johnson was busy on the Liberty National range in a desperate attempt to find a replacement driver.
Johnson’s gamer had cracked during his warmup before Round 1 of The Northern Trust, and he was forced to play a “strong” 3-wood as his longest club, which was no easy task – even for the long-hitting major champion.
“I was worried if I could cover the water or not on [No.] 7. Then I hit it to the right because I was trying to keep it low and make sure it didn't get up in the air because it was a long carry,” Johnson said after his opening-round, 1-under 70.
Because of his early tee time for Round 2, Johnson’s manufacturer, TaylorMade, was unable to ship him a replacement driver in time, so an equipment rep from the company found a similar model at a local PGA Tour Superstore that he tinkered with late Thursday.
Johnson, though, opted for another driver thanks to the kindness of fellow major champion Lucas Glover.
“My trainer [Kolby Tullier] works with his trainer [Joey Diovisalvi], and he told me what happened. I saw [Johnson] this morning and offered it to him,” said Lucas Glover, who plays a similar driver to Johnson and had a backup handy. “I’m not sure if it was the same loft or not, but it was close.”
Johnson shot a second-round 72 with the backup driver, which he hit three times on Day 2, and averaged fewer yards off the tee on Friday (284.8) than he did on Thursday (285.6). At even par, he's in danger of missing the cut.