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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 155 - The Open wrap
A ndinagameandonacourse where power is so valuable, every so often the little guy stands up. It doesn’t seem to matter how big the arena is or how much of a distance game golf has become in the pro leagues in the 21st century, there is simply no substitute for the guy who can, time after time, park wedge shots close to the flag and who is deadly inside 15 feet with the short stick. Johnson is a flinty, gritty player who possesses a great sense of the moment and a complete understanding of his own game. He needed some luck to win this Open but what impressed most was not his closing 66 but instead his third-round 70. On a day when seemingly every player was piling up red numbers in the benign weather, Johnson slid down the leaderboard with 13 straight pars that must have felt way worse than the scorecard indicated. Every player around him seemed to be shooting deep into the 60s while he was stuck in neutral churning out pars like it was a US Open. Yet he pushed through that period when his worst golf of the week coincided with the best of the conditions to find three late birdies and card a 2-under round that kept him at 9-under and in touch, just three behind the leaders. Johnson is golf’s ‘scrapper’. His Masters win came in the one year when conditions were brutally difficult at Augusta National and when an over-par score was good enough to take the green jacket. Fighting his way up from the mini-tours and onto the secondary Nationwide Tour, as it was known then, he had the ability to mix it with the big guys and, as Steve Williams said in a recent magazine interview, he’s top of the list among players who can’t be intimidated by anyone else. “He knows his game, its strengths and limitations, and he trusts it,” Williams said. “There isn’t a person or situation that is going to make him play beyond his capabilities or take risks he shouldn’t take. In fact, he’ll embrace who he is even more
OTG Express 154 - The Open preview
OTG Express 156