Johnson right back in the hunt

Long hitter says it didn't take long to recover from U.S. Open flop

August 14, 2010

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Remember Dustin Johnson? In the final round of the U.S. Open, he lost a three-shot lead in one horrific hour.

To hear him tell it, that's about all the time he needed to get past that Sunday 82 at Pebble Beach.

Asked when he recovered, Johnson replied: "Probably the next day. You know, it was kind of a fluke thing. Golfers have bad rounds, so I didn't dwell on it at all."

Johnson missed the cut in his next event, the AT&T National, but rebounded at the British Open (tie for 14th) and is in contention at the PGA Championship after rounds of 71 and 68.

"I didn't drive it particularly well, so I was a little 'scrapie' on the front nine," he said. "The eagle on No. 5 definitely helped out."

The fifth at Whistling Straits, called Snake, officially measured 595 yards for the second round. But bombers such as Johnson can cut off the dogleg and make the hole play like a short par-4. Johnson hit a pitching-wedge second shot from 149 yards, then drained a 30-footer.

"It fits me perfect," Johnson said of the hole design.

Birdie: Phil Mickelson. Lefty's competitors surely will belittle it as a cheesy gesture, but we like what Mickelson did after beaning a spectator with a wayward drive off the 15th tee. Mickelson not only gave the man a new golf glove, he wrote "Sorry" on it with a frowny face on the "o." In the past, Mickelson has given "victims" $100 bills or, one time, a wristwatch.

Bogey: Colin Montgomerie. Monty's 79-83 could leave him in last place. And to think, the other day a reporter asked the European captain whether he'd put himself on the Ryder Cup team with a victory at Whistling Straits. "Very long two days," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting the Ryder Cup team picked."

Birdie: Bubba Watson. Thursday's feel-good story began Friday's round with back-to-back birdies. But he gave back a shot with a three-putt on No. 12 and another on the 16th after he smashed the lip of a fairway bunker.

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