Dustin Johnson takes aim at solving personal crux at TPC Sawgrass

If every superhero has his trademark adversary, TPC Sawgrass has been the bane of Dustin Johnson’s professional career thus far.

The world No. 1 has had a track record to forget at the host course of this week’s THE PLAYERS Championship, with a career-best 28th-place finish in a total of 26 career rounds. Johnson’s resume of mediocrity at the Stadium Course is something he is quite aware of, however, and knows that it’s going to take a well-rounded effort to exercise the lone demon in a brilliant career thus far.

“I feel like I’m starting to play this golf course a little bit better. But this golf course is tough,” Johnson said Wednesday, courtesy of USA TODAY Sports’ Steve DiMeglio. “You’ve got to have all facets of your game working if you want to contend around here. You’ve got to be doing everything well because you’ve got to hit all kinds of different shots, every club in your bag, and you’ve got to really control your golf ball.”

Typically a threat for any Sunday leaderboard he wants, Johnson will look to carry a scorching hot trail of momentum into THE PLAYERS, with his last five finishes coming in the form of a third-place finish, three consecutive wins, and a tie for second. None of those were at Sawgrass, however, with Johnson only boasting two total rounds with a sub-70 score.

His reputation at Sawgrass hasn’t seemed to change the opinion of his staunchest competitors, as world No. 2 Rory McIlroy believes Johnson is poised to keep doing exactly what he has been doing of late.

“He just keeps doing it,” world No. 2 Rory McIlroy said. “He’s on a roll and he keeps going. His lead in the world rankings is huge, it really is. It’s a big lead, and he’s played great and he deserves that lead.

“I don’t think it will faze him being where he is in the world of golf. I don’t think anything fazes him. That’s probably the understatement of the year, but I can’t see him falling off or dropping off.”

So how exactly is Johnson preparing for the lone course that has bested him since his career began?

“I think I’ve got a good game plan for the golf course. It doesn’t matter what you hit off the tee,” Johnson said. “You’ve got to hit it in the fairway. It’s very important to play from the fairway here so you can control the ball coming into the greens.

“I think the golf course is great. It’s in the best shape I’ve ever seen it. The greens are perfect, fairways are perfect. I’m ready to go.”

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