OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – A week after shooting the field with one of the most dominant performances in memory of the recent PGA Tour, Dustin Johnson is proving he doesn’t mind when conditions get a little crunchy.
Johnson’s total of 30 years won the Northern Trust by 11 shots, and came within one shot of the Tour’s all-time scoring record.
It could take a month to reach 30 under at Olympia Fields, where only two players remain in the red after two rounds. But thanks in part to a couple of trailing birds, Johnson is hot on his heels. He is also on par and just one shot behind Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay.
golf course, it demands very good play, and you’ve got to put the ball in the right position. And then from there you’ve got to hit quality golf shots into the greens. It’s a completely different golf course, completely different conditions,” Johnson said. “It’s firm and fast, and it’s a lot of fun to play this kind of golf. I like it.”” data-reactid=”26″>“This golf course requires great play and you have to put the ball in the right position. And then from there you have to hit quality golf shots in the greens. It’s a completely different golf course, completely different conditions, “Johnson said.” It’s solid and fast and it’s a lot of fun to play this kind of golf. I love it. “
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Johnson had only made two birds in the second round before finishing on a high note. He threw a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to get even on the day, then added a 32 foot on the final green for another birdie to close a 1 under 69 round.
The new world number 1 is looking to become the first player since Bryson DeChambeau two years ago to win the first two playoff events. Of course, those victories came when the postseason included four tournaments and before the Tour Championship changed format. A second consecutive win would ensure Johnson starts at 10 under next week in East Lake; it is still currently projected to hold the top spot given its 36 hole position.
Johnson demonstrated last week that he can go deep when his game is firing on all cylinders, especially during the second round when he played his first 11 holes in 11 under en route to a 60. But he is, after all, a former US Open Champion, and he’s not trying to back down from a challenging test where pars that looked like bogeys last week suddenly became coveted targets.
“I mean, last week was also fun. But this week is definitely more tiring, “he said.” Every single hole out here is difficult. You really have to focus on every shot you hit. “