MAMARONECK, New York. — Form has Dustin Johnson as the hot favorite to be holding the US Open trophy on Sunday, but history is a major red flag for the big-hitting world No. 1.
Having won three tournaments, the FedExCup and the $15 million payday that goes with that title, it is hard to think 2020 could get any better for Johnson.
A major victory, however, would put a cherry on top of a campaign that has already seen the 36-year-old American land PGA Tour Player of the Year honors.
Johnson rolls into Winged Foot Golf Club as the man to beat, riding a spectacular run of form that saw him post two wins and two runner-up finishes in his last four starts.
Mr. Consistency, Johnson has won at least one event every year since joining the PGA Tour in 2008 but in those 13 seasons has claimed a single major victory.
Johnson has arrived at many majors as the man to beat but only once in 43 starts— the 2016 US Open at Oakmont Country Club – walked away with the trophy.
Four-times he has held or shared the 54-hole lead going into the final round of a major, including last month’s PGA Championship, and was never able to close the deal.
“I’m playing well,” said Johnson, who will tee off in Thursday’s opening round alongside two other big-hitters Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in the game but I’m not putting any extra expectations.
“I expect to play well every week.
“But it’s one of those golf courses where it’s very difficult and you need to be spot-on if you want to play well.”
Scheduled for June before COVID-19 forced a reshuffling of the golf calendar, the US Open returns to the ferocious Mamaroneck, New York layout for the first time since 2006 when Australian Geoff Ogilvy hoisted the trophy.
The US Open is branded as golf’s toughest test and Winged Foot fits the bill, requiring accuracy off the tee and a surgeon’s delicate touch on treacherous greens.