AUSTIN, Texas – Don’t tell Dustin Johnson he’s putting well.
The 2017 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play champion advanced to the final four with a 2-up victory over Brooks Koepka in the quarterfinals and was pleased with how his game is coming together after dropping outside the top 10 in the world ranking this week for the first time since March 2015. Just don’t ask him about his putting.
“Didn't hole a lot of putts, especially today, this morning or this afternoon, but the conditions got tough this afternoon, greens got a little faster,” he said. “I felt like I hit some nice putts, just didn't make anything until 14.”
Statistics would suggest that Johnson is having a season-best putting week. He’s second in the field in strokes gained: putting and has picked up more than 7 ½ shots on the greens at Austin Country Club.
The match-play format would suggest that Johnson is being more aggressive on the greens compared to how he would play a stroke-play event.
“You would think that but a couple of times I've had to make putts and I left them short, so it wasn't too aggressive,” said Johnson, who will play Scottie Scheffler in the semifinals. “The speed is tough to judge sometimes on some of these putts because uphill they're rolling at 10 [on the Stimpmeter] and downhill they're rolling at 25. It's hard to judge the speed sometimes.”
Despite his perceived putting woes, Johnson was impressive on Saturday with a 3-and-2 victory over Richard Bland in the Sweet 16 followed by his afternoon triumph over Koepka.