DUBLIN, Ohio – Don’t expect Dustin Johnson to go all Bryson DeChambeau and start eating 5,000 calories a day, adding 40 pounds of mass and increasing his ball speed into the 200 mph neighborhood.
Johnson’s doing just fine being Dustin Johnson.
“I feel like my game and where it’s at and how far I hit it is far enough,” Johnson said Tuesday at Muirfield Village Golf Club ahead of Thursday’s start of the Memorial. “Right now, I feel like if I’m playing my game, he can hit it as far as he wants to, and I don’t think he’s going to beat me.”
DeChambeau didn’t beat Johnson two weeks ago in the Travelers Championship. Johnson shot rounds of 69-64-61-67 to finish at 19-under 261 and one shot clear of Kevin Streelman. DeChambeau, who has become the rage of outrageous distance in golf since the PGA Tour’s return following a 13-week, COVID-induced break, finished four back in a tie for sixth.
The victory was Johnson’s 21st of his PGA Tour career. DeChambeau won a week later in the Rocket Mortgage Classic and now the two are in the field at the Memorial, which has attracted nine of the top-10 players in the world – Johnson is No. 4 in the world and DeChambeau is No. 7 – and 18 of the top 20.
Johnson, who is one of the longest hitters in the game, said he has no intentions of experimenting with his body and equipment as DeChambeau has. He joked that if he swung as hard as DeChambeau does, he’d hurt something.
“And I wouldn’t find half of (my drives),” Johnson said with a laugh. “When I’m on the range sometimes I’ll start hitting them hard just for fun, and I generally hit them pretty straight. But it’s different when you’re on a wide driving range than when you’re on the golf course and you’ve got to hit it into a pretty narrow fairway.”
Johnson took a few days off after winning the Travelers, went fishing and hung out with his family. He started practicing hard a little over a week ago and is anxious to get to the tee for the first round. He loves the course Jack Nicklaus built, loves the way the Golden Bear hosts a tournament. He has three top-10s in 11 starts here, two of those coming in his last three starts.
“It’s a golf tournament and a golf course that I really enjoy playing. Obviously Jack does a great job here. Like I said, I enjoy coming here,” Johnson said. “I enjoy playing this golf course. I’ve had some success here, not as much success as I would like, but I’m really looking forward to it this year, obviously coming off a win a couple weeks ago, and I feel like the game is in good form.”