Dustin Johnson ready for break after rough Tour Championship: ‘Mentally, I think I’m just worn out’

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/pga/players/9267/" data-ylk="slk:Dustin Johnson">Dustin Johnson</a> finished in a tie for last Sunday at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, and is in one of the worst slumps of his career. (John Adams/Getty Images)
Dustin Johnson finished in a tie for last Sunday at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, and is in one of the worst slumps of his career. (John Adams/Getty Images)

At one point this season, Dustin Johnson looked completely on top of his game.

You wouldn’t know it based on his performance at the Tour Championship this week, though.

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Johnson finished in a tie for last in the 30-man field at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta after a final round 3-over 73. Johnson and Lucas Glover finished 10-over in the modified scoring system, six shots back from the rest of the field.

Though Johnson finished one-under on his back nine, thanks to a birdie on the final hole, he fired three bogeys and a triple on the front side, sending him to the bottom of the leaderboard.

His issue, however, isn’t necessarily a technical one. Johnson’s tired.

“I feel good. I’m swinging good,” Johnson said Sunday, via Golfweek. “Mentally, I think I’m just worn out.”

The 20-time PGA Tour winner has just one win this season — at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship — though he also had a pair of runner-up finishes at The Masters and the PGA Championship. He had eight top-10 finishes after the latter at Bethpage Black, too, and appeared to be firing on all cylinders.

Since then, though, it’s been straight downhill.

Johnson made the cut in all but one of his final eight tournaments of the season, but never finished inside the top 20. He finished in a tie for 35th at the U.S. Open and a tie for 51st at The Open Championship. Things didn’t get better once the FedExCup Playoffs started, either.

After an opening-round 63 at The Northern Trust, Johnson finished with a 74 and a 73, respectively, to wrap up the tournament and finish in a tie for 24th. He then finished in a tie for 57th in the 70-player field the next week at the BMW Championship.

Then came this week, which marked his eighth straight start without a top-15 finish — his longest stretch since 2008.

“Every time I miss it’s in the wrong spot. And I’m not making any putts,” Johnson said, via Golfweek. “I feel like I’m hitting good putts. Just nothing’s going in the hole. I need a break, pretty much. That’s all it is.”

Johnson will get that break.

The PGA Tour season technically only has a two-week offseason, with A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier kicking off the 2019-20 season on September 12. The first event likely to draw a true field with some of the biggest names in golf, however, doesn’t come until October 31 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Johnson is also set to compete with Team USA in the Presidents Cup in Australia in December.

While there’s some important golf to be played before the end of the year, Johnson is more than ready to kick his feet up and relax.

After his latest slump, that’s probably the best thing for him.

“I got two months,” Johnson said, via Golfweek. “I’m definitely excited about that.”

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