Erin - World number one Dustin Johnson said he plans to take
some time off with his family as he struggles to digest his US Open flop.
The 32-year-old American star had arrived at Erin Hills
brimming with confidence, buoyed by the birth on Monday of his second son, and
ready to tear into a course suited to his big-hitting game.
But after two wayward rounds and a missed cut, defending
champion Johnson was heading home on Friday resigned to watching the climax of
the tournament on TV.
"This is the United States Open. It's a major, it means
a lot to me," Johnson said.
"I'm definitely disappointed I'm not playing the
weekend, but there is a lot I can take out of it.
"I feel like I'm striking it very well. So I just need
to go home, relax a little bit, hang out with the family and I'll see you at
the Open Championship in a month."
Johnson, who had struggled to a three-over-par 75 in the
first round, carded three birdies and four bogeys in a one-over-par 73.
With the cut on another low-scoring day coming at one over,
Johnson seemed poised to scrape into the weekend after three birdies and a
bogey left him at two under, one over outright, midway through his second
But three costly bogeys on the back nine left Johnson
needing to pick up strokes down the stretch which proved beyond him.
Johnson had started his round with a flourish, notching
back-to-back birdies to immediately move up the leaderboard.
A superb chip to three feet set up the birdie on the
597-yard first hole before he then demolished the short par-four second.
A 338-yard drive off the tee took him to the edge of the
green and he got up and down in two for a birdie.
Yet Johnson was forced to bide his time for the next six
holes, unable to convert the few birdie chances that came his way.
However a bogey on the ninth checked his progress, pushing
him out to two over.
He clawed that back with a birdie on the 12th, draining a
six-foot putt but was soon in trouble on the 13th, three-putting for bogey.
Johnson blamed a failure to generate anything with his
putter for his woes.
"As we all know, this game's all about putting,"
he said. "So it's pretty simple, I just didn't get it in the hole fast
"It's just golf. It's frustrating but I don't let it
bother me. I feel like I'm playing good. I've got four weeks off now.
"I'm looking forward to it very much. I'll work on the
game a little bit, and I'll be ready to play at the British."