DJ complains about six three-putts on early exit
Six three-putts on rounds 74 and 75 left defending champion Dustin Johnson frustrated as he reflected on missing halftime at Augusta National
By Keith Jackson
Last updated: 04/21/21 1:37 AM
Dustin Johnson missed the cut by two shots
Dustin Johnson blamed a poor performance on the greens for his early exit from The Masters after the defending champions missed halftime with two strokes in Augusta.
Johnson regretted six three-putts in the first two rounds, which contributed to his fall, and the runaway November winner will now be inactive for two days before showing up in the butler booth again on Sunday night to meet the new champion to hand over a green jacket.
The 36-year-old could also lose his # 1 world ranking if that champion is Justin Thomas, who is just three shots behind leaders Justin Rose on his way into the weekend.
Johnson blamed poor putting for his early exit
Johnson opened on Thursday with an unpredictable 74 and had to improve on it to avoid dropping out, but gave himself no encouragement the first time when he pulled his three-wood into the jaws and started with a bogey-five.
Birdies on the third and fourth were offset by a six on the fifth where he blocked his drive and then putted 60 feet into three, and another shot went the closest before striking back with birdies on the eighth and ninth to return two over at the curve.
He stayed safely on the cut mark at four, but ran short on his second to long 15th and found the water in the front, resulting in a bogey six, and bad propulsion at each of the two closing holes in a bogey , Bogey finish and a round of 75 so that he is five above par for the tournament.
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“Six three-putts in two rounds, that’s just not possible,” said Johnson afterwards. “Of course I didn’t drive great, but I did enough and I felt like I was never really out of position.
“It was just the three putts that killed me. You take all three putts away, I’m one of them. That made a difference. But yeah, I just didn’t putt very well. My speed was terrible I don’t know, I did just didn’t have a good punch on speed in the past two days. “
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Johnson warned ahead of the tournament that his game wasn’t as sharp as it was five months ago when he got a five-shot win and his second major, but he denied feeling any extra pressure as the defending champions.
“It’s still similar,” added Johnson, who confirmed that he will play at RBC Heritage next week. “Of course I wanted to spend the weekend here. I like this golf course, I feel like I’m playing it very well. I just didn’t putt very well. It’s pretty easy.”
Brooks Koepka reflected Johnson’s score of 74 and 75 just three weeks after knee surgery, and he admitted he wouldn’t have played “another month” if it hadn’t been the first major of the year.
Brooks Koepka needed assistance from his caddy to climb out of the ditch on the thirteenth as he struggled with his knee injury
Koepka was clearly uncomfortable during the two days and even crawled onto the 13th green after stabbing his third shot from near the water. He will now focus on getting fit for a crack at a third PGA title on Kiawah Island next month.
“I wouldn’t have played another month if it hadn’t been for the Masters this week,” he said. “So I take a nice long hiatus after that. The way I see it, I have two more days of rehab that I probably wouldn’t get if I was out here, and I’m going to prepare for the PGA.
“That’s what, five weeks ahead of me I think? It’s hard to tell if I’ll play something before that just to feel what it feels like, how rehab is going and everything.”