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  • GOLF Golfer
    DJ started his week with an afternoon tee time and put on a ball-striking clinic. He striped all 13 fairways en route to landing 14 GIR. He led the field in strokes gained tee-to-green. “Obviously won in Tulsa a few weeks ago. The game has been trending in the right direction, and obviously I feel really comfortable over the golf ball right now.” Johnson has finished outside of the top 15 in three of his last four tries at the U.S. Open but zooming out he has finishes of T6 or better (including a 2016 win) in five of his last nine starts at the event. Johnson will get a Friday morning tee time and he expects to see a more beefy setup after seeing some generous tee boxes on day one.

  • GOLF Golfer
    DJ piped 8-of-14 fairways on his way toward 11 GIR. The striking was solid but did start to leak a bit down the stretch. It was his short game that really shined, though. His score was 7.3 shots better than the field today and 6.4 of that was gained with the short game department (+2.1 around-the-green, +4.3 putting). “I kind of grinded it out. I didn’t have my best stuff, but I felt like he managed the golf course very well and took advantage of the opportunities when I had it. Made some crucial saves there on the back side.” Johnson arrived with converging trends, winning last week in Tulsa while also having a T8 on his Oak Hill resume (2013 PGA).

  • GOLF Golfer
    DJ battled with a back injury to start the year and talked about that in his presser today, “I didn’t hit balls for a few weeks, until right before I went and played Mexico. It’s just taken my a while to get back, get the patterns right and just get my body moving right. Developed some bad habits, and it’s just golf; things happen. Swinging it well, feeling good, got confidence. That’s always helpful coming into a major.” He’s coming fresh off a win last week at the LIV Tulsa event. While it’s nice to see a good result the week before a major it should also be noted the course conditions will be much different. Tulsa was dealing with a lot of weather issues and surrendered a 17-under winning tally for a 54-hole event. The last two winners at Oak Hill (-4 and -10) have not even reached that number, across 144 holes. Johnson has been boom-or-bust in recent PGA Championships, posting back-to-back podiums before missing the cut in his last two tries.

  • GOLF Golfer
    This announcement doesn’t surprise but it does provide some clarity that future changes to qualifying criteria will likely be made. Whether that is advantageous or not for LIV Golf defectors is to be determined. ANGC chairman Fred Ridley had this to say in his statement today, “As invitations are sent this week, we will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament. As we have said in the past, we look at every aspect of the Tournament each year, and any modifications or changes to invitation criteria for future Tournaments will be announced in April.” There are currently 16 golfers from the LIV Golf circuit that will get their 2023 invite as a past Masters champ or through the Top 50 OWGR criteria.

  • GOLF Golfer
    The former World No. 1, who arrived off a solo 4th at LIV Portland two weeks ago, posts rounds of 68-67-71-69 for a fifth top 10 at The Open in 13 visits, second straight after T8 last year at Royal St. George’s as then-World No. 1. Overall, it’s his 22nd top 10 in 53 majors, first this year in the four majors contested, and totaled 21 birdies against eight bogeys, four versus one on Sunday. Today, the 38-year-old began solo 7th, six adrift, and registered +1.01 SG: Tee-to-Green and -0.38 SG: Putting on 10 (of 16) fairways and 15 greens in regulation. His most recent of two majors and 24 overall PGA TOUR titles remains the 84th Masters (Nov. 2020) 30 starts ago, and unless his TOUR membership is restored prior to the end of the season (and he plays more events), his streak of 14 consecutive seasons with at least one PGA TOUR win (dating to 2008), the longest such active streak on TOUR, will come to end unceremoniously, and without a top-3 finish.

  • GOLF Golfer
    Johnson, who began the day four back, was World No. 1 when finishing T8 last year at Royal St. George’s, his most recent major top 10, and is competing in his second straight major as a now-non-member (T24, U.S. Open). He met with the media after a 5-under 67 in R2, but as of this writing, did not speak to the press after today’s five-birdie, four-bogey showing, which ended with bogeys at 13, 14 and 16 before a closing birdie. On 12 (of 16) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, the two-time major winner recorded +1.00 SG: Off-the-Tee, +0.99 SG: Approach, -1.44 SG: Around, and -0.21 SG: Putting. He’ll play out of the fourth-to-last pairing on Sunday with Tommy Fleetwood, in search of his first PGA TOUR victory since the 84th Masters (Nov. 2020) 30 starts ago.

  • GOLF Golfer
    If this lead/co-lead holds up, it would be the 38-year-old’s 21st 36-hole lead/co-lead in 307 events and fifth in 53 majors, including by one here in 2015 before plummeting to T49 (65-69-75-75). He’s previously 11-for-20 and 2-for-4 converting, respectively, including most recently at the 84th Masters (Nov. 2020), where he co-led with four others before going on to a 5-shot victory over Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im. That remains the 2-time major winner’s most recent of 24 PGA TOUR titles, coming 30 starts ago as then-World No. 1, as well as his most recent podium finish, though did win the Saudi Int’l 12 weeks later when it was played as a European Tour event. Today, on 11 (of 16) fairways and all 18 greens in regulation, Johnson outpaced one bogey at hole 1 (3-putt) with six birdies at 3, 9, 10, 14, 16 and 18, posting +1.78 SG: Off-the-Tee, +1.00 SG: Approach, +0.33 SG: Around, and +1.43 SG: Putting. See link below to post-round press conference. UPDATE: With R2 complete, Johnson is solo 5th, four back of leader Cameron Smith, and will be in the third-to-last twosome in R3 with World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.

  • GOLF Golfer
    The 38-year-old checked in off a solo 4th two weeks ago at the LIV Portland, preceded two weeks prior by a T24 at the U.S. Open at Brookline, where he also opened with 68 (T7) before fading to T24 (73-71-72). This is his 13th consecutive Open appearance with four prior top 10s, including a T8 last year at Royal St. George’s, as then-World No. 1, and was the 18-hole leader by one here at St Andrews in 2015 with a 65 before cratering to T49 (69-75-75). Today, the now-World No. 18 camouflaged two squares with six circles on seven (of 16) fairways and 13 greens in regulation, posting pedestrian strokes gained numbers with the exception of an unconscious +4.09 SG: Putting. The South Carolinian’s most recent of two major titles is the 84th Masters (Nov. 2020) eight major starts ago, where he claimed his first green jacket in his 10th try and 45th overall major event as the 54-hole leader by four and eventual champion by five.

  • GOLF Golfer
    Johnson, the 2016 champ (Oakmont) as well as the 84th Masters champion last season, resigned from the PGA TOUR June 7th, competed in the first LIV event in London, and was subsequently suspended by the PGA TOUR. Along with being barred from competing in any future TOUR-sanctioned events, he was removed from the FedExCup standings, is considered a non-member now, and has dropped to 16th in the Official World Golf Ranking. The 37-year-old, who turns 38 in six days (June 22nd), played alongside Matt Fitzpatrick (68) and fellow former champ Webb Simpson (70) today, and outpaced two bogeys with four birdies on seven (of 14) fairways and eight greens in regulation. The U.S. Open is conducted by the USGA, whose CEO Mike Whan was asked in a pre-tourney presser yesterday (Wednesday) if he could envision a day where it would be harder for some folks doing different things (LIV Golf) to get into a U.S. Open, to which he replied, “I could. Will that be true? I don’t know, but I can definitely foresee that day.” Link to the USGA’s full presser is below.

  • GOLF Golfer
    DJ announced in his LIV Golf press conference that he has resigned his PGA TOUR membership for now. That has become the popular path for all participants in the new LIV Golf series. With his resignation from the PGA TOUR, Johnson also loses his eligibility for the Ryder Cup. “All things are subject to change. Hopefully at some point it will change and we’ll be able to participate.” Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace have also resigned their memberships, joining Kevin Na, who announced his resignation last weekend.

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