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PALM HARBOR, Fla. – While his longtime fiancée was wedding dress shopping, World No. 1 Dustin Johnson struggled with his putter for three days at the Valspar Championship, earning himself an early morning Sunday tee time.
Johnson toured the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in 2-under 69 well before the leaders teed off. He finished with a 72-hole total of 2-under 282 and walked off the course T-52.
“I don’t think I got one good break the whole week,” he said. “It’s just one of those weeks.”
Johnson said to ignore the result – he hasn’t recorded a top-10 finish since the Genesis Invitational in February – and chalked up the week as a step in the right direction.
“The game is really close to being good,” he said. “Yesterday, I played so good then obviously one bad shot on 16, plug in the bunker, double. Same thing on 18, I hit a good shot just misjudged the lie and plugged in the bunker.”
Johnson’s putter misbehaved for the first three rounds, especially on Saturday when he lost more than two strokes to the field on the greens. He said he struggled with the Bermuda grass, but stroked it well on Sunday, noting he had five lip outs in the first 12 holes. He was particularly pleased with his mid- and long-iron game, which had held him back at the RBC Heritage.
“I felt the last two days I was controlling the distance well with the irons, I’m hitting them solid and where I want them to go, for the most part,” he said.
Being out of the trophy hunt gave him a chance to “just hit some shots.”
“The golf swing has felt a lot better than it has in the last three or four months,” he said.
Johnson is skipping the Wells Fargo Championship next week, but is scheduled to compete in the AT&T Byron Nelson ahead of the PGA Championship. Johnson said he’ll spend next week practicing and playing with his kids.
Any wedding planning on the horizon? Johnson’s fiancée of eight years, Paulina Gretzky, posted images of herself shopping for a dress on social media. Asked if they have a date, Johnson said, “We do not have one yet.”
Getting closer? “Yeah,” he said.
Just like his game.