Dustin Johnson has replaced Jordan Spieth as the world No2 – the highest world ranking position of his career the reward for a stunning spell of form.
The 32-year-old backed up his US Open triumph with success at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday. “The goal is to get to that No1 spot,” Johnson said. “I’ve still got a lot of work to do to get there. It’s not just getting there, you want to stay there. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
When asked what he needed to modify before next week’s Open at Troon, he replied: “Nothing.”
Johnson added: “It is still a golf course. I like the kind of golf over there. I enjoy it. You’ve got to use a lot of imagination. It’s generally windy, so you use the wind. You’ve got to use the ground. Ever since the first time I ever went over there, I’ve always enjoyed it and I feel like I play pretty well over there.
“It’s the first time I’ve won two tournaments in a row. I know it wasn’t two consecutive tournaments but consecutive tournaments that I played. I mean, that’s big; I’m excited and looking forward to going over to Britain in good form.”
Johnson was three shot off the lead with 18 holes to play in Akron. A four-under-par 66 was sufficient to win the trophy by one shot from fellow American Scott Piercy, who also finished the runner-up to Johnson two weeks ago at the US Open.
Johnson’s best Open placing is a share of second five years ago at Royal St George’s in Sandwich. There, he produced the kind of final round self-destruct showing that once threatened to overshadow a ridiculous talent. Johnson no longer associates with underachievement.
He said: “My driver has been great. I feel like if I’m hitting it in the fairway, then I’m going to be very tough to beat. I’m also making the putts I’m supposed to make. That’s the big difference in me finishing in a lot of top fives to winning a few. I’m definitely a little more relaxed on the course, especially coming down the stretch.”
Johnson's back-to-back triumphs earned him $3.4m but, perhaps more pertinently, he has upstaged Spieth as the player closest to the world No1, Jason Day.
Spieth said: “I see other guys winning tournaments and it is motivating to see the success that they’re having. It makes me really want to work harder to get to that level and be the one on these last four holes who could be competing with them.
“They’re consistently up on that level. Even Jason, I know he’s been a little off his game but his little off has been a little better than my little off.”
Spieth aims to leave for Troon as early as Friday. “I plan on playing 18 holes at least on Sunday, maybe Sunday and Monday, and then nine and nine like I do for the other major championships,” the 22-year-old Texan said. “It’ll be nice to get over there, feel like I’m fully adjusted, when in previous years you kind of get over that jet lag on Wednesday, and all of a sudden, there you go, you’re thrown into it.”