5 BURN­ING QUES­TIONS: DUSTIN JOHN­SON

Golf Australia - - CONTENTS -

DUSTIN JOHN­SON’S vic­tory at the St. Jude Clas­sic saw him re­turn to World No.1. He’s also only the third player in PGA Tour his­tory to win a ti­tle in each of his first 11 sea­sons. The other two? Jack Nick­laus and Tiger Woods. Pretty good com­pany to keep. The 34-year-old tells Golf Aus­tralia about tack­ling Tiger, shot clocks on tour and his Ry­der Cup pre­dic­tions. 1 How im­por­tant was it to re­gain your po­si­tion as World No.1? Los­ing it is go­ing to mo­ti­vate me to work harder and get my game back into the form that I think it should be in. You don’t get any­thing for num­ber one but it is nice be­ing la­belled the best golfer in the world. It means a lot. Some­times I’ll sit and think about it. It’s a pretty big ac­com­plish­ment and I’m def­i­nitely proud of my­self for mak­ing it to num­ber one, but most im­por­tantly I want to stay here. To do that I’ve got to keep push­ing my­self and work­ing hard. If I keep play­ing like I am and how I should then I’m go­ing to stay num­ber one. I’ve got a lot of con­fi­dence in my game right now. 2 Does it give a tour­na­ment an ex­tra edge when Tiger is in con­tention? It’s good for the game, him be­ing back. It brings a lot more at­ten­tion; a lot more peo­ple are watch­ing and talk­ing about it. He’s still got a bit of an in­tim­i­da­tion fac­tor. It is Tiger Woods; he’s prob­a­bly one of the best play­ers to ever play the game. I would like to shake hands with Tiger on Sun­day on the first tee, if we were both lead­ing. I think that would be a lot of fun. You hope that he plays well, but I can’t re­ally worry about what Tiger’s do­ing; I’ve got enough to worry about with my­self. 3 Much is made of your length, with some say­ing you guys hit it too far. Where do you stand on that? Length’s an ad­van­tage on any golf course, but you’ve still got to hit it straight. If you hit it far and you’re in the trees, length doesn’t re­ally mat­ter. I don’t think I hit it too far. The game is not easy. Yeah, there’s oc­ca­sions where you get down­wind, down­hill on firm ground and the ball goes a long way, but when you’re straight into the wind, it ain’t go­ing that far. 4 How do you rate your­self as a match play golfer and how do you think the Ry­der Cup will pan out? Match play is def­i­nitely dif­fi­cult. We don’t get too much ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing it, but it’s some­thing I al­ways en­joy. It’s just you ver­sus one other guy. If you play well, usu­ally that takes care of your op­po­nent. There are cer­tain sit­u­a­tions where you’re kind of play­ing him, but for the most part you’re just there try­ing to make as low a score as you can on ev­ery hole. I think it’s go­ing to be a very dif­fi­cult match, like it al­ways is in the Ry­der Cup. It’s al­ways tougher to win when it’s not your home turf, so we’re go­ing to have to go over there and play very well. We’re go­ing to have a very good team, so if we go over there and play re­ally good golf, I like our chances. 5 The Euro­pean Tour’s Shot Clock Mas­ters pe­nalised play­ers for tak­ing too long. Would you like to see a sim­i­lar thing on the PGA Tour? Yeah, ab­so­lutely. I think it would be very in­ter­est­ing. You’d see a lot of guys get­ting pe­nalised on our tour. I’d have plenty of time but a lot of guys wouldn’t. They would be get­ting a penalty on ev­ery hole.

IF I KEEP PLAY­ING LIKE I AM AND HOW I SHOULD THEN I’M GO­ING TO STAY NUM­BER ONE. I’VE GOT A LOT OF CON­FI­DENCE IN MY GAME.

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