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Dustin Johnson fights back after quad, still in contention at LACC


LOS ANGELES – Chunk. Chunk. Skull.

That’s how Dustin Johnson described a three-shot stretch on the second hole at Los Angeles Country Club Friday. He walked off the green having to write an 8 on his scorecard. A quadruple bogey.

Still, Johnson walked into the scorer’s tent after his second round at the U.S. Open with a smile on his face. He rallied for an even-par 70, sitting 6 under for the tournament.

Full-field scores from U.S. Open

“Making a quad on No. 2 definitely didn’t get the day started off kind of how I envisioned it,” Johnson said. “But to battle back and get it back to even par for the day and 6 under for the tournament … Definitely proud of the way I came back and finished off the round.”

Johnson got himself into trouble on No. 2 by hitting a drive into the left fairway bunker. His next shot was the first chunk, traveling 94 yards before settling in thick rough. Things went from bad to worse when his third shot finished in the barranca short of the green. A disastrous score was certain.

However, it didn’t take long for the 2016 U.S. Open champion to stop the slide. Johnson called his tee shot that found the middle of the fairway on No. 3 his most important shot of the round. He went on to make birdie, steadying the ship both on the scorecard and in his mind.

“Sometimes it is (hard). Today it wasn’t, though,” Johnson said of trying to bounce back. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in the game and what I’m doing right now. It was nice obviously to come back and birdie the next hole. That definitely helped.”

Johnson’s rally took off on the back nine, where he made three birdies and came home in 32. A 7-foot par putt on No. 17 and a 16-footer for birdie on No. 18 both produced signature faint fist pumps.

He was happy with the finish, but believes there were opportunities to go even lower and further erase his early quadruple-bogey.

“I had quite a few good looks at birdie that I didn’t make, and I lipped out a couple,” he said.

Johnson still has to watch the afternoon wave come through, but he knows he will be in contention heading into the weekend. He has his 64 on Thursday to thank, which tied Tiger Woods for the most rounds of 65 or better at a major with 10.

He will try to make more history come Sunday. According to Elias Sports Bureau, no player over the last 30 years has won a major championship after making a quadruple.