Well now Dustin Johnson is just showing off. The world #1 golfer started at The Northern Trust without a full bag and still managed to shoot 1-under in the first round of the tournament. Johnson showed off his skills despite the fact he was without his driver.
A Pre-Round Surprise
Turns out that this wasn’t some stunt the pro was trying to pull off. Just before he was set to tee off, Johnson discovered his driver had a crack in it and almost left him depending on his 5-wood to get him through. Luckily, the golfer was somewhat prepared for such a moment. He was able to get his 3-wood that he kept in his trunk before the event began.
Johnson wouldn’t have to conquer Liberty National without his driver for long. TaylorMade moved quickly to send out some new clubheads that he could break in before round two on Friday.
“Driver fatigue will occur over time, of course, for these guys that are hitting so many shots,” said a TaylorMade spokesman. “We do regularly test all of our athletes’ product prior to most tournaments unless a player requests us to provide a new gamer for him. In this occasion, Dustin noticed a fine crack prior to play. He was able to switch into a strong 3-wood that he is using today.”
The Show Must Go On
A view of Dustin Johnson’s bag for THE NORTHERN TRUST. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
Johnson was no doubt nervous to go into competition without his trusty driver. But overall, his performance was still strong. He did say that one moment on the 7th tee made him question whether he could pull off the shot he needed.
“I was worried if I could cover the water,” he said.
The breezy conditions meant that his loftier flight would be affected more by the wind. The one thing that helped him was the fact that the turf was saturated from a storm the night before round one.
“It wasn’t too bad,” he said. “I figured out a way to shoot a decent score.”
Johnson started and ended his round with a pair of bogeys as well as one on 7. However, he managed to mitigate some of the damage with a total of 4 birdies throughout the round. Dustin ended with a final score of 70 at the end of Thursday. Even without his driver Johnson also averaged 300 yards off the tee.
“(It) threw me for a loop there because it was literally 10 minutes before I was teeing off when it happened,” Johnson said after. “(I) managed to get a decent round in there.”