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DJ: Confidence is returning

10 August 2017 National Sport

Last Updated: 10/08/17 8:57pm

Dustin Johnson carded an opening round one-under 70 at Quail Hollow

Dustin Johnson carded an opening round one-under 70 at Quail Hollow

Dustin Johnson was pleased with his “solid” opening round of one-under 70 in the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

Johnson has struggled to reproduce the early season form which saw him win three successive tournaments since suffering a fall prior to the Masters in April but found some consistency, especially on his back nine which was blemish-free.

The world No 1, who mixed three birdies with two bogeys, was relieved to show some confidence with the driver and admitted that accuracy off the tee is of paramount importance.

“I hadn’t been swinging that good,” said Johnson. “I definitely hadn’t had a lot of confidence in the driver.

“This week, I worked hard on it and I got a lot of confidence in the driver. I feel like I’m swinging it really well. Got control over it finally. The ball is kind of starting where I want it to. It’s got the right shape.

“Out here, it’s a big key. You have got to hit the fairways. That’s what I did well today. I hit a lot of fairways. Definitely could have shot a little bit better but it is one under. I think anything under par on this golf course is a pretty good score.”

The 33-year-old, who was one of the early starters in Charlotte, started his opening round at the 10th and made a birdie before further birdies at the 15th along with another at the 5th but acknowledged that conditions on the greens were difficult.

“The greens are really fast,” Johnson said. “I thought they had a lot of difficult pins out there today.

“That’s what is very tough about this golf course. Didn’t roll it all that great, but I’m pleased with the score. Only a few shots back. In a major, a few shots can be one hole.”

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