Open Championship

I like my Open chances, says Johnson

2016-07-13 18:59
dustin johnson
Dustin Johnson (Getty Images)

Troon - As laid back as ever, Dustin Johnson clearly feels no extra pressure being seen as one of the joint favourites to win this week's British Open at Royal Troon.

The shortest odds to win the Claret Jug on Sunday are for the big-hitter Johnson and the Australian Jason Day, hardly a surprise given that they are the top two players in the world rankings.

But when asked on Wednesday what that meant to him, the 32-year-old American just shrugged: "Honestly, I don't care. I mean, I like my chances, but I go into every tournament liking my chances."

He should certainly feel confident in Scotland this week after shaking off his "nearly man" tag to finally win a major at the US Open last month before following that with a victory at the recent WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.

"I don't expect any more from myself," he replied when asked if his own expectations had changed since winning at Oakmont.

"I always expect to come out and perform and to contend. But I mean, it's definitely a little bit different coming out and not trying to win that first major.

"The mindset's just different. I'm not trying to win the first one. I already have. So on Sunday, if I'm in contention, just knowing that I can get it done is a big confidence booster coming down the stretch."

A subplot in the scrap to lift the prestigious Claret Jug is the battle for the status of world number one, with Johnson currently lagging behind Day, last year's US PGA champion.

"I always feel like I'm the best player in the world, but that's just me. I've got a lot of confidence in my game. Obviously I'm playing very well right now," said Johnson, whose best performance at The Open is a joint second place behind Darren Clarke at Royal St George's in 2011.

He will tee off in his first round on Thursday in a group with Germany's Martin Kaymer and home hope Russell Knox just after 2:00 pm local time (1300 GMT).

By then, the other members of the sport's so-called "Big Four" -- Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy -- could all be finishing their opening rounds.

Johnson may even cross paths with some or all of that trio as they go to sign off on their rounds while he heads past the scorer's hut and towards the first tee.

At that moment even he will surely start feeling some tension, not that he sees that as a problem.

"I do get nerves or stress or whatever you want to call it, but I like it. If you didn't get nervous, then something's wrong because then it doesn't mean anything to you," he insisted.

Read more on:    open championship  |  dustin johnson  |  golf

 

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