Johnson ready for break after Open flop
World number one Dustin Johnson said he plans to take some time off with his family as he struggles to digest his US Open flop.
The 32-year-old American star had arrived at Erin Hills brimming with confidence, buoyed by the birth on Monday of his second son, and ready to tear into a course suited to his big-hitting game.
But after two wayward rounds and a missed cut, defending champion Johnson was heading home on Friday resigned to watching the climax of the tournament on TV.
“This is the United States Open. It’s a major, it means a lot to me,” Johnson said.
“I’m definitely disappointed I’m not playing the weekend, but there is a lot I can take out of it.
“I feel like I’m striking it very well. So I just need to go home, relax a little bit, hang out with the family and I’ll see you at the Open Championship in a month.”
Johnson, who had struggled to a three-over-par 75 in the first round, carded three birdies and four bogeys in a one-over-par 73.
With the cut on another low-scoring day coming at one over, Johnson seemed poised to scrape into the weekend after three birdies and a bogey left him at two under, one over outright, midway through his second round.
But three costly bogeys on the back nine left Johnson needing to pick up strokes down the stretch which proved beyond him.
Johnson had started his round with a flourish, notching back-to-back birdies to immediately move up the leaderboard.
A superb chip to three feet set up the birdie on the 597-yard first hole before he then demolished the short par-four second.
A 338-yard drive off the tee took him to the edge of the green and he got up and down in two for a birdie.
Yet Johnson was forced to bide his time for the next six holes, unable to convert the few birdie chances that came his way.
However a bogey on the ninth checked his progress, pushing him out to two over.
He clawed that back with a birdie on the 12th, draining a six-foot putt but was soon in trouble on the 13th, three-putting for bogey.
Johnson blamed a failure to generate anything with his putter for his woes.
“As we all know, this game’s all about putting,” he said. “So it’s pretty simple, I just didn’t get it in the hole fast enough.
“It’s just golf. It’s frustrating but I don’t let it bother me. I feel like I’m playing good. I’ve got four weeks off now.
“I’m looking forward to it very much. I’ll work on the game a little bit, and I’ll be ready to play at the British.”