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Johnson let down by putter

High finish the goal for South Carolinian

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Coming off a 68 on Friday, Dustin Johnson was hoping for another low round to vault into contention on "moving day" at the Masters.

Dustin Johnson, one of the pretournament favorites, had problems on the greens in carding a 1-over 73 on Saturday. (Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff)

But the South Carolina native struggled with his putter and saw his tournament hopes dashed after shooting 1-over 73 on Saturday. The Coastal Carolina alumnus is at 1-under for the tournament.

"I'm driving the ball well and hitting a lot of good iron shots, but it is a struggle to get it in the hole," Johnson said. "I'm not feeling it with the putter."

Johnson entered this week as one of the favorites. In 2010, he led through 54 holes at the U.S. Open and lost at the PGA Championship after he was ruled to have grounded his club in a bunker on the final hole.

On Saturday, things went sour right from the start as Johnson hit his approach on the first hole over the green, leading to a bogey. He battled back with birdies on No. 3 and No. 9, but then his putting problems began to surface.

He three-putted from 50 feet on No. 10 for a bogey, then lipped out a three-footer for birdie on No. 11. He missed another birdie try from about 10 feet on No. 12.

Following a two-putt birdie on No. 13, he 3-putted again from long distance on No. 14.

He laid up close on the par-5 15th hole, converting the birdie putt, but couldn't seize the momentum as he followed with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17.

While Johnson struggled, he watched playing partner Adam Scott shoot 67 to fly up the leaderboard.

"He made a lot of key putts and a couple long ones," Johnson said. "I think the longest putt I made today was six feet. But I'm going to come out tomorrow and try to shoot a low score. Maybe I can squeeze a top 10 or top 5 finish out of this."

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