After finishing fourth at the Masters and winning the U.S. Open this season, Dustin Johnson was one of the favorites heading into the PGA Championship at Baltusrol this week.
Well, Johnson shot a 77 on Thursday and is already out of the championship mix. He was six over through 11 holes.
“Dustin Johnson was just wayward off the tee, things got off the rails, and I just think mentally he checked out,” Golfweek senior writer David Dusek said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “When Dustin Johnson is sitting on par-5 on the 18th and reaches for an iron and puts it in the lake off the tee box, you know that it is just not his day. He shoots 77. He’s too far back. It’s not going to happen. Every facet of his game was terrible.”
Rory McIlroy wasn’t much better, recording three bogeys in his first seven holes Thursday and shooting a four-over 74.
“It’s been two years now since Rory McIlroy has won a major championship, and I think that this is something that’s really eating him to the point where he just doesn’t quite know what to do to get out of his frustration,” Dusek said. “He needed 35 putts to get a round in. He made nothing. If you add up all the putts, his average make was about two feet. The longest putt he made was a 6-footer. He made nothing. I don’t care how good your ball-striking is. If you cant make a putt longer than six feet, you’re not going to do really well. His putting has been very erratic. He’s still one of the best drivers of the ball out there, but right now, there are so many guys who, week in and week out, are playing at a high level. I think Rory has got this chip on his shoulder, like he feels like he should be the No. 1 player in the world. He has made it very clear that’s what he plays for: win majors and be the world No. 1. And right now, he has not had it.”